Chargers scouting report

LT teh ghost

Well-Known Member
Aug 18, 2005

SERIES: Dallas Cowboys lead 5-2. The Chargers won the last meeting 32-21 in 2001 in Irving, Texas.


The former Notre Dame athlete is a star in the making. A fractured shoulder blade hindered the start of his rookie season last year, but once healthy he provided a glimpse of the future. Jones rushed for 803 yards over the last seven games. He seems to be the only sure thing among Dallas' skill position players, so expect the Cowboys to utilize him often ---- especially since he has the ability to run for tough yards inside and beat defenders to the corner. The 5-10, 205-pounder is said to have improved his pass blocking skills, so the team may feel more comfortable keeping him on the field on third-downs.


While Jones is the go-to man, QB Drew Bledsoe will have a lot to say about whether the Cowboys can score more than the 33 touchdowns they were limited to a year ago. At 33, Bledsoe is trying to revive his career with his third NFL team after getting bumped in New England and Buffalo for younger passers. Many experts feel the 6-foot-5 QB can prosper in Dallas because he is reunited with the coach under which he had his best years, Bill Parcells, who made Bledsoe his first draft pick with the Patriots 12 years ago. But it won't be easy. For starters, the Cowboys are gambling that a rookie, Rob Petitti, can handle the right tackle spot. And 10-year veteran Terry Glenn is the only wide receiver who is a deep threat. On the other hand, the left side of the line has old reliables Flozell Adams and Larry Allen, and the Cowboys signed Pro Bowl guard Marco Rivera as a free agent. Meanwhile, Keyshawn Johnson still can be an effective possession receiver, and third-year player Jason Witten is emerging as one of the league's top tight ends. One thing Dallas must do is improve on last year's 36.4 percent third-down conversion rating.


The Cowboys were No. 1 in the league in defense two years ago but slipped to No. 16 last year, allowing 330.3 yards per game and the most points in club history (405). In an effort to climb back up the ladder, they are switching to a 3-4 alignment. This will allow them to take advantage of exciting rookie Demarcus Ware (Troy). The rest of the linebacking group is ordinary, although veteran Dat Nguyen is solid against the run. The Cowboys used six of their first eight draft picks on defenders, including first-round picks Ware and Marcus Spears. Spears is out with a knee injury, leaving Kenyon Coleman to start at left end. The secondary is a concern as the Cowboys were hit for 31 scoring passes last year and allowed a whopping 61.8 completion percentage (highest in team history). That's why they signed CB Anthony Henry and nickel back Aaron Glenn as free agents. Henry starts opposite Terence Newman, which allows hard-hitting Roy Williams to return to his strong safety position where he can get involved in more plays. Keith Davis is suspect as the free safety.


The Chargers' Marty Schottenheimer (177) and the Cowboys' Bill Parcels (154) rank 1-2 among active coaches in regular-season victories. ... Parcells is only 7-10 on opening day. ... Dallas was 6-10 last year. ... Chargers running backs coach Clarence Shelmon held the same job in Dallas (1998-2001). ... Chargers LB Randall Godfrey played his first four seasons in the league (1996-99) with the Cowboys, and TE Landon Trusty spent four weeks last year on Dallas' practice squad. ... The Cowboys cut K Billy Cundiff after he suffered a leg injury and are going with Jose Cortez, who hasn't attempted a field goal attempt since 2002.

KICKOFF: 1:15 p.m. Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium