The Dallas Cowboys earned a narrow away win against the Los Angeles Chargers in a hectic edition of Monday Night Football.
The Cowboys bounced back from the Week 5 humbling they suffered against the San Francisco 49ers, as they escaped LA with a 20-17 victory.
The game was somewhat disjointed as both teams struggled to find their offensive groove, despite first quarter touchdowns for both sides.
The penalty flag was thrown 20 times on the night, while each squad had a turnover on downs to go along with several punts. Dallas also botched a punt return in the fourth quarter that allowed the Chargers to tie the game up at 17-17.
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott managed to navigate the chaos for the most part though, going 21-for-30 and throwing for 272 yards and a touchdown to Brandin Cooks. The QB also showed off his ground game, rushing for 40 additional yards and charging into the end zone in the first quarter.
Dallas rookie kicker Brandon Aubrey, who is a former professional soccer player, chipped in with two field goals, including the go-ahead attempt in the fourth quarter.
The defense also came through when it was needed. Inside the final two minutes of the game with the Cowboys holding a three-point lead, linebacker Micah Parsons sacked Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert for a loss of eight yards. On the very next play, cornerback Stephon Gilmore picked off Herbert to seal the game for Dallas.
Head coach Mike McCarthy was pleased with his squad’s effort on both sides of the ball and the ability to rebound from the previous week’s humiliation.
“I think it’s part of the definition of a complementary football team,” he told reporters after the game, per the NFL. “The offense picks up the defense, and the defense picks up the offense, the special teams, all the way around when there’s plays that need to be made down the stretch.
“Crazy week in the NFL, but we were on the right side of it this week, and you know how fast that can turn.”
‘America’s Team’ now sits two games above .500 at 4-2 heading into its Week 7 bye.
Meanwhile, the Chargers now own a losing record, falling to 2-3 as they prepare to take on the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
Herbert found himself under pressure for much of Monday night, going 22-for-37 for 227 yards. Though he did find Keenan Allen and Gerald Everett for a touchdown apiece, he missed his receivers multiple times and saw the game slip through his fingers late on when his pass was intercepted by Gilmore.
“Keenan ran two great routes and that’s on me as a quarterback,” Herbert said after the game, ruing his mistakes. “We had those explosive opportunities. We have to capitalize on those.
“I missed a couple receivers, threw some bad passes, a lot left out there … so there’s a lot to work on and improve on.”