Riding a seven game winning streak, the San Diego Chargers are one of the NFL's hottest teams. In control of their own destiny, the Chargers are a few wins away from locking up a playoff spot. The challenge ahead of them is a formidable one, as they make their first trip ever to the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium this week. The Cowboys are one of the NFC's top teams, and will be an excellent measuring stick to see how well the Chargers match up with one of the conference's best.
(Photo Credit: Mike Nowak/San Diego Chargers)
CHARGERS PREPARE FOR BIG TEST IN 'BIG D'
The Cowboys are an excellent rushing team, averaging 5.0 yard per carry - tops in the NFC. They have a big, physical offensive line and like to pick up first downs on the ground. The Cowboys protect the ball well and have a stable of backs who can get tough yards. Dallas is also a proficient passing team, behind only the New Orleans Saints and the Arizona Cardinals in total passing yards and yards per game. They are also number three in the league in total offense.
However, while the Dallas has an abysmal December record, the Chargers have won 14 straight in this month. Will the Chargers and Cowboys provide a Super Bowl preview? Or will the Bolts have their way with a team notorious for falling apart in December?
TOMLINSON HOLDS THE DALLAS COWBOYS IN THE HIGHEST REGARD
A native of Texas and a Dallas Cowboys fan growing up, there is no question this game will be of special significance to Ladainian Tomlinson:
"It'll be a pretty emotional day for me, pretty much," says Tomlinson. "The fact of the matter is, you look at your career, my last time I was there was my rookie year and I'm in my ninth year and the schedule says that I might not play there again. It'll be special. I've heard so much about the stadium. I've got friends who have season tickets. They say it's great, and I just can't wait. This is the next thing, this stadium. This is as big as it gets. I'm going to look around, hopefully be able to take a tour. I would like to see where Jerry Jones sits, and, you know, check it out."
CHARGERS - COWBOYS CONNECTIONS
There are number of connections between these two teams, let's take a look at the excellent notes the Chargers released today;
Besides Turner, Chargers’ offensive coordinator Clarence Shelmon was the running backs coach in Dallas from 1998-01. Offensive line coach Mike Sullivan, a former center and guard, was drafted by the Cowboys in the sixth round in 1991. Chargers linebacker Kevin Burnett was a second-round draft pick by the Cowboys in 2005 and played four seasons (05-08) in Dallas. Tackles Corey Clark (Spring Branch) and Jeromey Clary (Mansfield) are both from Texas. Clark went to school at Texas A&M. Cornerback Quentin Jammer (Angleton, Tex.) is a University of Texas alum. Running back LaDainian Tomlinson (Waco, Tex.) is a Texas Christian alum. Guard Louis Vasquez (Corsicana, Tex.) went to Texas Tech. Dallas Head Coach Wade Phillips spent the 2004-06 seasons as defensive coordinator in San Diego and helped install the 3-4 defense currently run by the Chargers. Offensive line coach Hudson Houck held the same post in San Diego from 2002-04. Cornerback Cletis Gordon played for the Chargers from 2006-08 as did defensive lineman Igor Olshansky from 04-08. Center Duke Preston went to Mt. Carmel High School in San Diego and is the son of former Chargers linebacker Ray Preston. Cowboys with ties to Southern California include kickers David Buehler (Anaheim and USC) and Nick Folk (Sherman Oaks); linebacker Victor Butler (Rialto), and cornerback Orlando Scandrick (Los Alamitos). Chargers radio play-by-play man Josh Lewin resides in Southlake,Texas and is also the television voice of the Texas Rangers. Cowboys play-by-play man Babe Laufenberg played quarterback for the Chargers in 1985 and ’88.
Labels: NFL Season 2009 Week 14
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