If the Dallas Cowboys offense doesn't get it turned around against the LA Chargers, when will they? Getting the running game going would help the cause, but Tony Pollard has a combined 76 rushing yards on 3.95 yards per carry in the last two games.
In a surprising move, the Cowboys elevated running back Malik Davis for the game. It'd be coaching malpractice to carry five RBs on the active roster. With that, it's expected Deuce Vaughn will be a healthy scratch, per Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News.
Additionally, the Cowboys elevated LB Malik Jefferson. It's his third elevation, so he'll have to be signed to the active roster next week to remain with the team.
Joining Jefferson on the 53 are linebacker Tyrus Wheat, who'll make his season debut as a priority free agent signing out of Mississippi State after Dallas signed him to the 53-man roster, and third-year cornerback Nahshon Wright.
These moves follow LB Leighton Vander Esch and CB C.J. Goodwin landing on IR.
Deuce Vaughn a likely healthy scratch for Cowboys vs Chargers in Week 6
It's a tough break for Vaughn, who's still finding his way as a rookie, but it's not overly surprising considering his performance this season.
The post-draft honeymoon with Vaughn ended in Week 5 against the Patriots, when he didn't do much with his touches and was exposed in pass protection on more than one occasion. He played a season-high 22 snaps in that one, but followed that with 3 carries for 7 yards vs the 49ers on five total snaps.
With Rico Dowdle entrenched as RB2 behind Pollard, and Hunter Luepke blocking well as a fullback and on special teams, Vaughn's the obvious odd man out. Malik Davis is arguably the third-best back on the roster. He merely lost the battle for the backup job to a deserving Dowdle, who's played well all season.
It's unclear what role (if any) Davis will have Monday night, but the Cowboys are desperate for an offensive spark that Vaughn wasn't providing. He's averaging a dreadful 2.0 yards per carry on 20 attempts (a decent sample size) and has less than 20 yards receiving on five catches.
This move was coming. It doesn't mean Vaughn won't play again this season. If Davis performs well tonight and the Cowboys win, Mike McCarthy and Co. would be hard-pressed to go back to the Vaughn well.