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Saturday, August 18, 2012
Third quarter: Cowboys 13, Chargers 7

By Calvin Watkins

SAN DIEGO -- The Cowboys added three more points to their total on a long field goal by Dan Bailey. After three quarters, we've had the wave, the Cowboys' first preseason touchdown and two Bailey field goals. The Cowboys have a 13-7 lead over the Chargers.

Some thoughts:

*Cornerback Mario Butler had a nice open field tackle on a short pass in the flat and came up on run support to bring down Le'Ron McClain. The Cowboys would like to see Butler step up and become the fifth corner. Then again, if Mike Jenkins can't return in time for the start of the regular season, Butler could be the fourth corner.

*Dan Connor didn't look good in coverage on a 28-yard reception by Randy McMichael. Safety Danny McCray was able to push McMichael out of bounds. The Cowboys can't afford to have linebackers struggle in coverage this season, regardless of how well their corners are playing.

*Akwasi Owusu-Ansah had the coverage on the first touchdown allowed by the Cowboys defense this preseason. Charlie Whitehurst completed a 18-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Brown, who suffered a left ankle injury and had to be carted off the field. Owusu-Ansah couldn't contain Brown, and with Danny McCray trailing the play Whitehurst found an open man.

*When quarterback Stephen McGee gets time, he can do some things. He made a strong throw for a 10-yard completion to Dwayne Harris. Harris needs to make some plays with Kevin Ogletree rising up the depth chart. Then again, this is why he's a backup, or rather No. 3 on the depth chart for the third receiver. McGee put a little too much air on a pass to Raymond Radway that was broken up, and he didn't see a wide open Dwayne Harris down the seam. Instead, he opted to complete a 3-yard pass.

*Fullback Shaun Chapas did a poor job of blocking a blitzing Melvin Ingram off the edge. McGee had no chance and was sacked for a 13-yard loss.

*Teddy Williams is a sprinter by nature. He's still learning how to play football, but at times -- like on a kick return in the third quarter -- he didn't show any wiggle. Yes, the blockers set up for a left return, but Williams has to make defenders miss.

*Charlie Hughlett took over the deep snapping duties in the third quarter for L.P. Ladouceur.

*Faced with a fourth-and-1, the Cowboys' backup line didn't get any push and Jamize Olawale was stopped for no gain.

*Linebacker Orie Lemon recovered a fumble with 2:59 to play in the quarter. Lemon was pretty active Saturday night and his recovery of a fumble led to a made 49-yard field goal by Bailey.