The Week 6 “Monday Night Football” showdown between the Dallas Cowboys and the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium was supposed to be an offensive duel between Kellen Moore, the current Chargers offensive coordinator who held the same role with the Cowboys for four seasons (2019-2022), and head coach Mike McCarthy, who let Moore go after desiring to take back play-calling duties. Instead, the game was chaotic, involving nine punts, 20 penalties — 11 on the Cowboys and nine on the Chargers — and a turnover on downs for each team. The Cowboys were able to do just enough in the fourth quarter to prevail, 20-17.

In the end, quarterback Dak Prescott — who finished with 272 passing yards and one passing touchdown on 21 of 30 passing in addition to 40 rushing yards and a touchdown on seven carries — orchestrated the clock-draining drive the Cowboys needed following a one-yard touchdown pass from Justin Herbert to Gerald Everett on a fourth-and-goal from the one.

The Dallas offense took the field with 7:11 left in the game, and 14 plays later, it departed after gaining 54 yards, good enough to set up the go-ahead 39-yard field goal from rookie kicker Brandon Aubrey, his second make of the night. The Cowboys defensive stars shined brightest when they needed to, on the Chargers’ final drive. All-Pro linebacker Micah Parsons recorded his first sack of the night on the first play after the two-minute warning, throwing Herbert down to the ground. The next play sealed the victory, as 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore intercepted Herbert to end the game. He finished with 227 passing yards, two touchdowns and the interception on 22 of 37 passing.

The Cowboys hadn’t played very well when needing to play from behind this season, losing in Week 3 at the Arizona Cardinals and in Week 5 at the San Francisco 49ers after allowing them both to score opening-drive touchdowns. So, head coach Mike McCarthy decided to have Dallas start the game with the football. That strategy didn’t work at all, as it went three-and-out on its opening drive. Two carries for running back Tony Pollard went for a total of four yards on first and second down. Then, Chargers Pro Bowl outside linebacker Khalil Mack, who had six sacks two weeks ago against the Las Vegas Raiders, threw down Prescott for a third-down sack after cooking Cowboys Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith.

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