Cowboys vs. Chargers: Score, Recap & Highlights

Phillip Rivers

Phillip Rivers prepares to take the field. (Getty)

Final Score: Chargers 27, Cowboys 7

Sure, it’s only the preseason. But the San Diego Chargers have plenty of reasons today to feel good about themselves, while the Dallas Cowboys have a lot of issues to figure out.

San Diego’s offense — particularly the second-team unit led by quarterback Kellen Clemens — shreded the Dallas defense Thursday night en route to a 27-7 rout in the preseason opener for both teams.

Brandon Weeden, starting for Dallas in place of the ailing Tony Romo, looked fairly sharp and threw a touchdown pass to tight end James Hanna. But whatever positives Dallas could take from the performance of its first-team offense were overshaddowed by a pitiful showing by Big D’s defense.

Here’s how it went down:

Branden Oliver Lit Up the Dallas Defense

Branden Oliver, whose speed and versatility have Chargers fans comparing him to Darren Sproles, capped a 9-play, 80-yard drive with a 16-yard touchdown run to put the Chargers on the board with 6:09 left in the first half.

Oliver had 4 carries for 36 yards on the drive, and fellow back Donald Brown had 3 for 22. He finished the first half with 64 yards on just 7 carries, opening plenty of eyes in the process.

San Diego took the lead on a Nick Novak field goal with just under 2 minutes left in the half after a long run by Oliver, who may have been denied a touchdown because of a horsecollar tackle.

Kerwynn Williams Scored a Touchdown, Then Made the Tackle on the Ensuing Kickoff

Kerwynn Williams scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 7:30 left in the third quarter to make it 24-7, then earned some serious hustle points with the Bolts’ coaching staff when he made the tackle on the ensuing kickoff.

Nick Novak followed with a 44-yard field goal with 13:36 left in the fourth quarter to make it 27-7.

Kellen Clemens Hit Dontrelle Inman for a 70-Yard Touchdown

The passing highlight of the night came when Clemens heaved a 70-yard bomb to Dontrelle Inman down the right sideline to stretch San Diego’s lead to 17-7 with 8:25 left in the third quarter.

Brandon Weeden Hit James Hanna for a Touchdown to Put Dallas on Top

After an interception was waived off because of a holding call, Brandon Weeden completed Dallas’ first drive of the second quarter by hitting tight end James Hanna in the end zone. Dan Bailey’s extra point made it 7-0.

Ryan Matthews Fumbled at the Goal Line & the Cowboys Recovered

Ryan Matthews fumble vs. Cowboys

Ryan Matthews fumbles while trying to get the ball across the goal line. (Getty)

After Dallas was forced to punt on its first possession, Phillip Rivers picked apart the Cowboys’ defense on the Charters’ first drive, but Ryan Matthews fumbled while trying to get into the end zone and Dallas recovered for a touchback.

The first quarter ended scoreless, with Weeden and Co. driving to begin the second.

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