Sunday, September 29, 2013
Welcome to Qualcomm Stadium
By Todd Archer
SAN DIEGO -- Welcome to Qualcomm Stadium where the Dallas Cowboys have the chance to improve to 3-1 with a win against the San Diego Chargers.
The Cowboys haven’t been 3-1 since 2008 and have lost six straight games when they had the chance to get two games over .500 by Week 4 of a season. The Cowboys spent all week talking about getting off the win-one, lose-one rollercoaster.
“The last two years we’ve been 8-8 because we’ve won one and lost one,” linebacker Sean Lee said. “Winning on the road is going to be tough, especially against a San Diego team that’s a really good team. They’re a really good offense. It’s one of the best offenses we’re going to see all year, a ton of talent with a great quarterback.”
Do it again: DeMarco Murray had his first 100-yard rushing game last week since the 2012 season opener against the St. Louis Rams, finishing with 175 yards on 26 carries.
Only once before has Murray posted back-to-back 100-yard games. He did it in 2011, his rookie year, when he ran for 139 yards against the Seattle Seahawks and 135 yards the following week against the Buffalo Bills. As a team, the Cowboys finished with 193 yards on 34 carries against the Rams, but they did not have back-to-back rushing games of 100 yards as a team last year.
The key for the Cowboys is to stick with the run even if it does not start as well as it did last week.
“I think more than anything you just you know that after a week like that that teams are going to prepare to have certain things in place to try to slow down the run game,” quarterback Tony Romo said. “That’s something we’re always going to try to do, to run the football and that’s what we think is the right way to play.”
Defending a Pro Bowler: San Diego tight end Antonio Gates is off to a hot start to 2013 with 15 catches for 228 yards and a touchdown, and the Cowboys know their attention has to be on the eight-time Pro Bowler.
Safety J.J. Wilcox will be making only his second career start, but the Cowboys will take a team approach to defending Gates.
“That’s a big test for him to handle, but he won’t be by himself,” safety Barry Church said. “We’ve got teammates out there to support him. We won’t leave him on an island out there. We know Gates is a great player, but we have great players on our side of the ball as well.”
The ref: Ed Hochuli’s crew works today’s game. The last time the Cowboys saw him came in Week 11 last season against the Cleveland Browns.