NFL Football: Dallas Cowboys vs Los Angeles Chargers Prediction, Odds and Preview - 09/19/2021

by Big Al Staff

NFL Football:  Dallas Cowboys vs Los Angeles Chargers Prediction, Odds and Preview - 09/19/2021

Game Time:  4:25 pm ET, Sunday, September 19th, 2021
Venue:  SoFi Stadium, Los Angeles Chargers
Where to Watch:  CBS

Opening MLB Odds at USA Sportsbooks

FanDuel:  Spread:  Chargers -3; Over/Under:  54.5 points
BetMGM:  Spread: Chargers -3.5; Over/Under:  55 points
Caesars: Spread:  Chargers -3.5;  Over/Under:  54.5 points

Season Record

Cowboys: 0-1 (NFC East)
Chargers:  1-0 (AFC West)
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Dallas Cowboys vs Los Angeles Chargers Preview and Analysis


The Cowboys showed us their training camp on NFL Films & HBO… and it was boring.  They practiced with Dak and then without when he had a shoulder injury.  They got to listen to Mike McCarthy swear and reference the 90’s film Austin Powers… it doesn’t hold up.  Then they opened the season against the Super Bowl champs Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  They lost, but it was close 31-29.  Cowboys fans everywhere cheered a close loss.  It must mean they are ready to start winning.

The Chargers opened the season by beating the Washington Football Team 20 -16.  Yay!  It was coach Brandon Staley’s best Charger moment so far.  It was also his first.  Second-year quarterback Justin Herbert didn’t play exactly as well as he did last year in front of no fans and a different coach… but he played well enough to beat the Washington Football Team who fielded QB Ryan Fitzpatrick we learned since he went down with a hip injury.  Hip injuries always get old people… even old gunslingers.

Offensive Analysis

The Cowboys offense did play well.  QB Dak Prescott threw for 403 yards and 3 TD’s in his first game since suffering that ankle injury that ended 2020 early for him. Amari Cooper is the WR1 for the Cowboys, the lead guy, the top dog.  He caught 13 balls for 139 yards and 1 TD.  The future WR1, lead guy, top dog is CeeDee Lamb and he also had a TD reception for 22 yards.  Ezekiel Elliott is highly paid… very highly paid.  He ran the ball 11 times and totaled 33 yards.  Tony Pollard and Dak Prescott both average more per carry.  It’s not gloom and doom because the Cowboys are scoring the ball.. And it took a game winning drive from Tom Brady (he’s 6-0 against the Cowboys all-time) to beat them.

The Chargers offense clicked to the tune of 20 points.  Second-year quarterback Justin Herbert was 31-47 with 337 yards 1 TD and 1 INT.  He’ll be making his Inglewood debut (SoFi’s location) against an underdog Cowboy team that just put their best pass rusher on the Injured reserve list indefinitely.  Joining him is RB Austin Ekeler who had 57 yards on 15 carries  for 1 TD.  A dazzling combination of WRs and a quality TE give Justin a lot of talent to disperse the ball to.  Keenan Allen had 9 catches for 100 yards, Mike Williams had 8 catches for 82 yards and a touchdown, and TE Jared Cook caught 5 for 56.  They were an explosive offense last year…who didn’t win much. This matchup at home, in a new stadium, in front of a huge crowd will produce a lot of touchdowns… Will it produce a win?


Defensive Analysis

The Cowboys defense didn’t hold against Tom Brady when it was all on the line, but few ever have.  They gave up 31 points.  They lost DE Demarcus Lawrence to a broken foot.  There were a few bright spots though.  Rookie 1st round pick LB Micah Parsons is an absolute keeper.  Micah had 7 tackles in his debut, but more importantly was everywhere on the field.  The Cowboys unfortunately have already invested millions upon millions of dollars in the linebacker position to Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch.  Those two LB’s combined for 1 tackle less than their rookie replacement.  CB Anthony Brown led the team with 11 tackles, S Jayron Kearse had 10.

The Chargers defense gave up 16 points to the Washington Football Team.  Kenneth Murray Jr led the team in tackles with 9, Derwin James got 8 and LB Joey Bosa got his 1st sack on the season.  They will need a better test than the lowly Washington Redskins to really know, but right now The Chargers are undefeated.


Cowboys vs Chargers Prediction

Our prediction for Sunday, September 19th is … Chargers 28 - Cowboys 17

The Cowboys lost two important players to the IL, they have an important lineman on the Covid list.  The Chargers are making a home debut in a new stadium.  The momentum is all Los Angeles.
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NFL Betting Trends

The Chargers were 2-2 over their last four games as -3 or better favorites.
Chargers games have hit Over in 9 of their last 16.
Dallas had 9 games hit the Over last year.

Key Injuries

Cowboys:  RG Zach Martin (Covid protocol), he should be back depending on his vaccination status… unless he isn’t vaccinated in which case who knows?  WR Michael Gallup (calf) Out, DE Demarcus Lawrence (foot) Out,  RT La’el Collins (suspended) Out 

Chargers:  DL Justin Jones (calf) Doubtful, CB Chris Harris Jr (shoulder)  Out



Players to Watch

Cowboys:  CeeDee Lamb. Without Michael Gallup in the lineup Dak will be forced to throw to the future more.  CeeDee had 58 yards a game in his rookie season last year.  This year should be his coming out party.
Chargers:  Joey Bosa had 7.5 sacks and 49 tackles last season.  This year there is a roaring crowd.  The roaring crowd also regularly watches Aaron Donald play in the same stadium.  If Joey wants to lead this Bolts defense he’ll have to find the 11 on his volume dial.

Notable Quotes

“I thought Dak played well,.....I really like the way our team played, the preparation coming into it. ... We had tough looks, particularly some of the things they did defensively. I thought our guys did a good job adjusting, did a good job distributing the ball on the perimeter.” -Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy.

Starting Lineups

Cowboys:  QB Dak Prescott, RB Ezekiel Elliot, WR Amari Cooper, WR CeeDee Lamb, WR Cedric Wilson, TE Dalton Schultz 
Chargers:  QB Justin Herbert, RB Austin Ekeler, WR Keenan Allen, WR Mike Williams, WR Jalen Guyton, TE Jared Cook, FB Gabe Nabers

Statistical Leaders

Passing:  Justin Herbert 337 yards
Rushing:   Austin Ekeler  57 yards
Receiving:  Keenan Allen  100 yards

Passing:  Dak Prescott 403 yards
Rushing:  Ezekiel Elliot  33 yards  *  averaging 3 per carry.
Receiving:  Amari Cooper  139 yards
Cowboys:  Mike McCarthy
Chargers:  Brandon Staley

Weather Forecast

Partly Cloudy.  72*  Humidity 67%.  A beautiful Southern California day, a brand new stadium that still has that brand new stadium smell.  

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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