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Week 6 MNF: Cowboys-Chargers Preview, Props, Prediction

The Dallas Cowboys will play their second consecutive road game in prime time and hope Monday night’s game at the Los Angeles Chargers goes better than the 42-10 beat-down they suffered at San Francisco in Week 5.

The Chargers (2-2) are coming off their bye week, which was much needed with quarterback Justin Herbert and running back Austin Ekeler dealing with early season injuries. Los Angeles is fifth in total offense (388.8 yards per game), while the Cowboys (3-2) are 17th (327.4).

Dallas ranks eighth in scoring (26.8 points per game), just behind the Chargers (27.5).

This is a key early season matchup for both teams. Dallas is only a game behind Philadelphia in the NFC East despite last week’s lopsided loss, while Los Angeles is trying to stay in the thick of the wild-card picture in the AFC.

The Cowboys are consensus 1.5-point favorites. The have been backed by 61 percent of the spread-line bets and 65 percent of the handle at BetMGM, and 57 and 61 percent of the action, respectively, at BetRivers.

The game will likely be decided by which defense is able to get a key stop or two and buckle down in the red zone. With a fine margin, we’ll side with Dallas’ defense.

Prediction: Cowboys 27, Chargers 23

Cowboys TE Jake Ferguson Over 3.5 Receptions (-130 at BetMGM): This has been the third most popular player prop at the book, with the Over drawing 99 percent of the bets. Ferguson has reached the end zone just once through the first five games, but he has been quietly productive. That includes 15 receptions over his past three games, and Ferguson has caught all 10 of his targets the past two weeks.

Former Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore now runs the Chargers’ offense after having the keys to the Dallas attack the previous four seasons.

Moore was pushed out the door by Dallas coach Mike McCarthy after last season. There was a dropoff in 2022 after Moore’s offense produced NFL-best figures of 31.2 points and 407 yards per game in 2021.

The Cowboys allowed a total of 41 points over their first four games before they had no answers against the 49ers.

“I’m pretty sure (Moore) wants to go out there and put it on us, but you’ve got to put on some perspective for what we just went through on Sunday and how we’re champing at the bit to get out there and get out next game, on the road, so we can kind of just get this taste out of our mouths,” Dallas safety Jayron Kearse said.

“We just went out there (against the 49ers) and had an all-time stinker for what this defense is about, and we’re ready to go out there and play against somebody as well. So I’m pretty sure he’s ready for it and we’re ready for it as well.”

There certainly won’t be any secrets after Kearse, star linebacker Micah Parsons and other Dallas defenders regularly practiced against Moore’s offense.

“It’s not uncommon in the league to have matchups where both sides know each other a little bit,” Chargers coach Brandon Staley said.

McCarthy now calls the offensive plays for Dallas, and the club had a problematic night against San Francisco. Quarterback Dak Prescott threw three interceptions as the Cowboys totaled just 197 yards on offense and eight first downs.

“Continuity and consistency is obviously what we’re focused on,” McCarthy said. “No. 1, you have to score points in this league.”

Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa and wide receiver Joshua Palmer are expected to play against the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night, NFL Network reported. Both are officially listed as questionable.

Bosa, battling a toe injury, did not participate in practice Thursday and Friday but was limited Saturday. Palmer practiced all week before being listed as questionable with a groin injury on Saturday, per the report.

Bosa has three sacks in three games this season. Palmer has 11 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown in four games.

Tight end Donald Parham (wrist) and defensive tackle Nick Williams (back) are also questionable to play against the Cowboys.

Defensive backs Deane Leonard (hamstring) and Alohi Gilman (heel) are doubtful.

Herbert and Ekeler were both listed without a designation on Sunday after a full week of practices.

“I feel really good,” said Ekeler, who was removed from the team’s injury report on Saturday. “I felt like I probably could’ve played during the bye week if I had a game then.”

Dallas outside linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (neck) will be placed on injured reserve sometime before Monday’s game, McCarthy said. In addition, special teams ace C.J. Goodwin (pectoral) told reporters that he will be sidelined for four to six weeks. Both players were hurt against San Francisco.

Standout running back Tony Pollard (shoulder) practiced in full on Friday and Saturday and is set to play. So is returner/receiver KaVontae Turpin (ankle).

Dallas safety Juanyeh Thomas (hamstring) is doubtful, while guard Chuma Edoga (illness) is questionable.

“I spent eight years there so there’s a lot of relationships you love and appreciate there, a lot of people you’re close to and you’ll be close to for a long time. It’ll be fun to see all those people.” — Moore, who spent five years on the Cowboys’ staff after three as a backup quarterback in Dallas.

–Field Level Media

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