Cowboys Extra: Scouting the Chargers

Posted Tuesday, Sep. 24, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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The Dallas Cowboys stress “situational football” every year in training camp.

The San Diego Chargers are no different.

They are redoubling their efforts to be football smart in the wake of a 1-2 start that has seen them lose games in the final seconds. The Houston Texans kicked a game-winning field goal with no time left in the season opener, and last week, the Tennessee Titans got a touchdown pass with 17 seconds left to beat the Chargers.

“We’ve done a lot of situational work here,” coach Mike McCoy told San Diego reporters. “That’s what games come down to, is smart players making good decisions when the game is on the line.”

He was asked about running back Danny Woodhead’s slide to save time just before halftime for a field goal try against Tennessee.

“I’m not saying the game was on the line at the half, but that’s a deal to where understanding clock management — of understanding the big picture of, ‘Hey, you’ve got one timeout; when is 5 yards better than x number of seconds?’ — that’s what wins games. If we continue to do that and everybody else learns from that and as a coaching staff we educate the players on situational football, we’re going to win our share of those close games.”

The Chargers failed to run out the clock last week against the Titans, gaining one first down and giving the ball up with 2:05 to go.

Gates vs. Witten

Chargers tight end Antonio Gates has 657 catches, seven shy of catching Ozzie Newsome for fourth-most on the all-time list for tight ends. The Cowboys’ Jason Witten ranks second with 822.

Gates ranks fourth in receiving yards all-time for tight ends with 8,549. Witten ranks third with 9,097.

Gates got to 8,000 yards in 137 games. Witten got to it in 147. For 9,000 yards, Witten needed 160 games. Gates has played in 150.

Gates ranks third in 100-yard receiving games with 20. Witten is fifth with 17.

By the numbers

5Touchdown catches for Eddie Royal, most in the NFL. It matches his career high of five from his rookie year with Denver.

He said it

“I didn’t say one thing that was out of line. But that is no excuse. I’m certainly not proud of getting the penalty.” — Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers on his 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct for arguing a call that negated a touchdown pass to Eddie Royal.

Injury update

• Left tackle D.J. Fluker and right tackle King Dunlap are trying to come back from concussions.

• Left guard Chad Rinehart has a foot injury.

• Inside linebackers Manti Te’o (foot) and Donald Butler (groin) are expected to be ready this week.

• Wide receiver Malcom Floyd is expected to miss another week with a concussion.

• Cornerback Shareece Wright has a hamstring injury.

Briefly

• Philip Rivers ranks second in the league with a passer rating of 116.2. He has eight touchdowns to one interception. Rivers threw his 100th touchdown pass in December 2009 against the Cowboys. He has 197 going into Sunday’s game.

• Former Cowboys defensive lineman Sean Lissemore has one tackle in two games for the Chargers.

• Two players from Mansfield are with the Chargers. Veteran offensive lineman Jeromey Clary (Kansas State) played at Mansfield High. Practice squad cornerback Marcus Cromartie (Wisconsin) played at Mansfield Timberview.

This report contains material from San Diego reporters.

Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7407 Twitter: @calexmendez

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