Dallas Cowboys: A Thanksgiving matchup preview for Week Twelve

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 19: A Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader performs during the football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys at AT
ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 19: A Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader performs during the football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys at AT /

The Dallas Cowboys will host the Los Angeles Chargers on Thanksgiving which will be an exciting matchup. Here are some things to look out for on game day.

The Dallas Cowboys have had a short week and after a demoralizing loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football, the Cowboys could use a victory. On Thursday Dallas will take on the San Diego Chargers in what should be an interesting matchup for all parties involved. The Cowboys may seem like a team on the ropes but there actually a lot of reasons they should win this contest on a short week at home.

The Chargers have a pretty suspect run defense: The Dallas Cowboys should be able to find some space on the ground in this matchup. The combination of Alfred Morris and Rod Smith have been fairly efficient as Ezekiel Elliott’s replacement.

Morris gained 91 yards on the ground on 17 attempts on Sunday and could easily have similar success in this matchup. The Chargers have been pretty efficient at stopping opposing running backs but they have not faced a team that has a solid running game.

The last top-tier running back to face the Chargers was LeSean McCoy who put up his best performance of the last three weeks even though the Buffalo Bills were routed. In fact, the only real reason the Bills lost by such a wide margin was because of Nathan Peterman’s interceptions.

Prior to the Bills, the Chargers have faced the Jacksonville Jaguars without a healthy Leonard Fournette, the New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, and New York Giants, not exactly run-centric teams.

Morris and the Dallas Cowboys heavily run-focused offense will likely provide some issues that the Chargers have not seen in recent weeks.

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Chargers offensive line will struggle: Chargers quarterback, Philip Rivers has not thrown for more than two touchdowns in a single game since Week Five. He has a 17-7 touchdown to interception ratio and has had trouble staying upright.

The Chargers offensive line will get a Dallas Cowboys defense that has improved throughout the course of the season. The NFL’s sack leader, Demarcus Lawerence should play a pretty big role in disrupting the Chargers offense.

The Cowboys defense will be without Sean Lee which will hurt them in stopping the run however they should have enough talent along the defensive line to get to Rivers several times in this contest.

If the Chargers are going to protect Rivers they may want to lean on their ground attack with Melvin Gordon. The Dallas Cowboys are extremely vulnerable to the run without Sean Lee in the starting lineup and that could make the ground game the primary focal point for the Chargers offense.

Dak Prescott is poised to rebound: Dak Prescott just had the worst performance of his career. Though not all of it was his fault (several Dallas Cowboy receivers let the football bounce off of their hands and into the air which led to interceptions) Dak will look to bounce back against a defense that has been fairly tough on opposing quarterbacks.

The Chargers held Tom Brady to one touchdown because the New England Patriots ground game stepped up and helped put away the Chargers. The Patriots defense also held the Chargers to 13 points a testament to how flat their offense can be.

Brady also threw for over 300 yards and completed 32 out of 47 passing attempts. Good news for Prescott is that Tyron Smith the best-left tackle in the NFL will be back in the lineup for Thursday’s contest.

That will change the dynamics of this offense as both the run and pass blocking should improve. Prescott knows the Dallas Cowboys need to win this game and he should manage to put up the stat line to do just that.

Next: Tyron Smith resumes practicing

Chargers pass rushers VS Dallas Cowboys offensive line: The Chargers pass rushers have developed into some terrifying players to stop. Second-year player Joey Bosa and veteran Melvin Ingram have truly become a tough tandem to stop if you are an opposing offensive lineman.

The Dallas Cowboys may have Tyron Smith back in the lineup and if he is able to be productive Bosa and Ingram could be facing a tough test. With Smith in the lineup, the Cowboys have done a solid job at protecting Dak Prescott with him out it has been a disaster.

The Cowboys will do everything they can to protect Dak and if they can the Cowboys have a good chance at pulling out the W.