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    Chargers vs. Dallas Cowboys: Who has the edge?
    • October 15, 2023

    CHARGERS (2-2) vs. COWBOYS (3-2)

    When: Monday, 5:15 p.m.

    Where: SoFi Stadium

    TV/Radio: Ch. 7/ESPN; 98.7 FM; 105.5 FM/94.3 FM (Spanish)

    Line: Cowboys by 1 1/2

    Notable injury designations: Chargers: OLB Joey Bosa (questionable, toe), S Alohi Gilman (doubtful, heel), DB Deane Leonard (doubtful, hamstring), TE Donald Parham Jr. (questionable, wrist), DL Nick Williams (questionable, back). Cowboys: T Chuma Edoga (questionable, illness), CB C.J. Goodwin (out, pectoral), S Juanyeh Thomas (doubtful, hamstring), LB Leighton Vander Esch (out, neck/concussion).

    What’s at stake: Running back Austin Ekeler said it best as the Chargers prepared to face the Cowboys on Monday Night Football: “We’ve got the world watching us.” The Chargers can take a giant step toward re-establishing their credibility as playoff contenders with a victory over a franchise that travels with some serious cachet everywhere it goes.

    Who’s better: The oddsmakers favored the Cowboys slightly in the lead-up to the game, so we’ll go along with them and say Dallas is the better team until the Chargers prove otherwise on the field. The Cowboys have similar star power as the Chargers with Dak Prescott at quarterback, Micah Parsons as a menacing pass-rusher, Tony Pollard at running back and CeeDee Lamb at wide receiver.

    Matchup to watch: There are matchups and then there are battles. This one figures to be a battle between a man and his damaged finger. Quarterback Justin Herbert fractured the middle finger on his left, non-throwing hand during the second half of the Chargers’ victory over the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 4. The Chargers’ bye week was just what the doctor ordered, but he’s still expected to wear protective padding beneath a glove on his left hand. It’s also anticipated that he will handle most, if not all, of his snaps in shotgun formation rather than going under center in order to ease the pressure on his damaged finger.

    Chargers win if: It’s difficult to ask for perfection from the Chargers, who are not known to play in such a fashion. But they’re going to have to play as cleanly as possible if they hope to beat the Cowboys. That means limiting the pressure on Herbert, avoiding turnovers while forcing them from the Cowboys and halting their practice of committing penalties on key third-down situations while on defense.

    Fantasy sleeper: Ekeler is back after sitting out for three games because of a sprained ankle suffered during the Chargers’ season-opening loss to the Miami Dolphins. Joshua Kelley filled in as their lead back for a loss to the Tennessee Titans and victories over the Minnesota Vikings and the Raiders. The Chargers missed Ekeler’s versatility while running and receiving. Expect the Chargers to take full advantage of his return.

    Prediction: Will Chargers offensive coordinator Kellen Moore get a measure of revenge by defeating his former team? Will the Chargers avoid the gaffes and goofs that have plagued them this season? Will the Cowboys right themselves after they were outplayed in a humiliating 42-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers? Figure it’ll be close, with the Cowboys pulling out a 24-21 victory over the Chargers.

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    ​ Orange County Register