The Dallas Cowboys came into Qualcomn Stadium to play the San Diego Chargers. It was the first game of the preseason for both teams. Preseason games are a good first glimpse of starters and sleepers for all teams.
The Cowboys had the first possession of the game. Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, and Demarco Murray sat out this game. There were some good runs by Joseph Randle but the drive would end in a punt.
The Chargers looked great on their first drive. Ryan Matthews looked good running, Danny Woodhead had a great 25 yard catch out of the backfield, and the Phillip Rivers to Ladarius Green connection is building. They would drive down to the 1 yard line but Ryan Matthews fumbled after a Dallas defender hit the ball with his helmet.
Brandon Weeden led the Cowboys on their second drive. Joseph Randle continued to run great and Weeden made all the completions they needed. He would get a touchdown pass to tight end James Hanna. If Tony Romo should go down then Weeden is a solid backup quarterback.
The Chargers starters left the game after the first drive so it was up to Kellen Clemens and Donald Brown to lead the drive. This would be the beginning of the coming out party for rookie Branden Oliver. Oliver would lead this drive all the way to the end zone with a 16 yard run. It will be interesting to see if Branden Oliver or Marion Grice wins that final running back spot.
The rest of the first half was a back and forth but the Chargers did get a field goal on their final drive. At halftime, the score was Cowboys 7-Chargers 10.
The Chargers and Cowboys had punts on their first drives. It was on the Chargers second drive that we saw some passing. Kellen Clemens threw a 70 yard touchdown pass to Dontrelle Inman. It’s exciting to see the Chargers have depth at offense skill positions.
On the Cowboys next drive, linebacker Thomas Keiser would force quarterback Caleb Hanie to fumble. The Chargers started on the 7 yard line and running back Kerwynn Williams ran it for a touchdown.
Nick Novak got a field goal look with a 44 yard field goal at the start of the 4th quarter. Novak should continue to be a 95% kicker for the Chargers. The final score would be Cowboys 7-Chargers 27.
I think the Chargers depth at running back and wide receiver is an advantage. If the injury bug ever comes around, fans should not be worried about backups. I think Kellen Clemens is a great backup if his number is ever called.
The Chargers defensive line and linebackers looked great. We did not see Dwight Freeney but I am hoping to see this unit stay healthy and play hard. The secondary was lukewarm but Jason Verrett and Brandon Flowers did not play. I hope to see the full secondary out there soon.
The Chargers next game is August 15 at the Seattle Seahawks. The Chargers remaining preseason opponents will be regular season games too so it will be a good scouting opportunity for the Chargers.