Working with multiple injuries on their defense, the Dallas Cowboys lose 27-7 to the San Diego Chargers in pre-season opener.
Due to multiple injuries to the Cowboys’ defensive players, multiple new faces were thrust into a starting role. Also, with starting quarterback Tony Romo ruled out for the game, backup Brandon Weeden would get the start.
After the Cowboys punted the ball on their first possession, the Chargers’ first-team offense gashed the Cowboys’ patch work defensive starting unit with big runs by running backs Danny Woodhead and Ryan Mathews. After getting to the goal line, Mathews fumbles the football and rookie cornerback Terrence Mitchell recovers it in the end-zone for a touchback.
Brandon Weeden takes advantage of the turnover and uses an 11-play, 75-yard drive to get the Cowboys into the red-zone. After an interception was called off because of a holding call, Weeden rolls to the right on third down and throws a dart to tight-end James Hanna for a four-yard touchdown.
Switching out to their second unit, the Chargers stormed back using a combo of running backs Donald Brown and Branden Oliver, pushing the Cowboys on their heels. Then Oliver cemented the drive with a 16-yard run into the end zone, tying the game.
As the half ended, the Chargers found themselves marching down the field again, using more of their potent rushing attack. But, the Cowboys managed to stop them on the goal-line on 2nd and 3rd downs and the Chargers settled for a 24-yard field goal by Nick Novak.
In the second-half, both teams would trade punts and possessions. Then Chargers quarterback Kellen Clemens opens up the game with a 70-yard bomb to receiver Dontrelle Inman for the score. The defensive back covering Inman on the play was Korey Lindsey. Lindsey had just recently joined the team and has not practiced with the team.
On the Cowboys following possession, third-string quarterback Caleb Hanie is sacked and stripped of the ball deep inside the Cowboys territory, with the Chargers recovering. Then Chargers running back Kerwynn Williams scores on a 1-yard touchdown, giving San Diego a 24-7 lead mid-way through the third quarter.
The Cowboys would not be able to score again and were shut out in the second-half.
The Cowboys defense was dominated by the San Diego offense, giving up 395 total yards. The Cowboys also would not force an incompletion until Chargers third-string quarterback Brad Sorensen threw one midway through the second-half. The offense managed only 274 total yards, with 182 through the air.
The Cowboys were lead on offense by Weeden who went 13-for-17 and threw for 107 yards and a touchdown. Randle had 13 attempts for 50 yards and averaged 3.8 yard per carry. On the defense, safety Ahmad Dixon had a team-high 12 tackles.
In addition to Romo, Jason Witten, DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant did not play as well. The Cowboys will now continue with training camp in Oxnard, California before returning to Dallas for their pre-season game against the Baltimore Ravens on August 16th.