NFL Week 4 Preview: Dallas Cowboys at San Diego Chargers

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys visit the San Diego Chargers in a non-conference game that could have playoff consequences down the road. Both teams hover around .500 and figure to vie for wild-card spots later this NFL season. The Cowboys head in at 2-1 while the the Chargers just fell to 1-2.

Week 4 Schedule: Dallas Cowboys at San Diego Chargers

TV Info (ET): 4:25 p.m. on FOX

Predicted Spread: Cowboys -5 (Actual: Cowboys -1.5)

Preview:

The Cowboys nearly lost a game they were practically handed in Week 1 against the New York Giants and gave up a game they were in position to run away with in Week 2. We gained more perspective in Week 3′s 31-7 win against the St. Louis Rams and are probably looking at another Jekyll and Hyde Cowboys team: One that can look utterly dominant one week, and also seems to lose games in very Jason Garrett ways despite having handed the play-calling duties over to offensive coordinator Bill Callahan. Most red-zone possessions should focus primarily on Dez Bryant or DeMarco Murray for this team to ever break a habit of letting should-wins turn into somehow-losses. All about closing teams like the Kansas City Chiefs out.

Key Matchup: Demarcus Ware vs. King Dunlap (and Philip Rivers)

I thought about putting Bryant versus the entire Chargers secondary in this spot, but I’ve already assumed he’ll just tear them apart. Ware will likewise probably chew up the extremely “meh” Dunlap and spit him out, though his ability to track down Rivers could be tough. Rivers has been moving around the pocket to extend plays with much more success and, really, conviction that harkens back to his younger days. NFL Films’ Greg Cosell has referred to him as the toughest customer under pocket pressure and despite not living up to that praise in 2012, retro-Rivers has shown up in 2013 despite the stat-line regression against a very good Tennessee Titans defense in Week 3′s 20-17 loss. That will be absolutely critical as Ware and a scary d-line across the board should find their way into this backfield early and often.

Thomas Emerick is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ThomasEmerick, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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