Do Not Read This Article

If you find yourself becoming light headed at statistics, then don't read this article. If the numbers of this past Sunday's game send you hunting for the porcelain trough to relive yourself of the all-you-can-eat buffet at Furr's cafeteria, then this piece is not your cup of tea.

Sunday's exhibition was a football masterpiece at its finest. While the score didn't change hands frequently and one quarterback threw for more yards than the last four Cowboys games combined, it turned out to be high drama of the first order.

Defensively the Cowboys showed that most of the ink used to point out the impending shortcomings of this squad were not only justified, but also pretty darn accurate. San Diego hung up 480 yards on the bend don't break defense of Mike Zimmer. They also deposited the ball through the uprights and into the endzone enough times to post 32 points.

Doug Flutie threw for an effortless 353 yards at an astounding 60.5% clip. A pretty nice effort for a geriatric quarterback by NFL standards. His solid performance has vaulted the worst team in the NFL in 2000 to one of the best. Yet playing the Redskins and Cowboys in back-to-back weeks can have that effect on a team.

The mad scientist experiment that has started at cornerback Izell Reese, a safety, above Kareem Larrimore, the most talented cornerback on the Cowboys, caused Flutie to look as sharp as his days at Boston College.

Of the 18 first downs the Chargers gained Sunday, 8 of which were on third down. Flutie passed for 4 first downs out of his six third down attempts. A remarkable 66% success rate and a reason the time of possession war was won by the Chargers, 37:59 to 22:01.

The 90 yards on the ground by rookie LaDainian Tomlinson was more of an afterthought to the passing skills of Flutie. The game on the San Diego side of the ball was passing to wide-open receivers at will. Dallas was caught short trying to solve the issue with tight ends roaming through the Cowboy's backfield, as they had been all pre-season.

Yet the lack of pass rush by the Cowboys accounted for some of the darts thrown to Flutie's receivers. Ebenezer Ekuban's absence on the defensive front was evident when the diminutive quarterback danced around buying time for his target's to find open real estate. Demetric Evan's sack of Flutie should validate that even a broken clock is right twice a day.

But the stat board offers up other gems of information as to why this Dallas team is now 0-2 as they head toward Philadelphia this Sunday night. The most important stats of all are three and zero. The precise number of interceptions thrown by one Anthony Wright vs. Doug Flutie.

Rumblings from Dave Campo absolved Wright of his miscues in threading the needle to the wrong club thrice. A shrewd move considering young Anthony will face the meat-eaters of the Eagles defense. Known around these parts as quarterback killers, it was more than once the dastardly defensive eleven of Philly left Aikman crumpled on the Astroturf like a losing lottery ticket.

But one has to consider that if Aikman, with skills in decline but far advanced of the sacrificial lamb offered up Sunday, couldn't solve the mystery of Gang Green, what will become of Mr. Wright?

Campo recoiled at questions about a quarterback controversy in the post game press conference. Perhaps conspiracy theorists might furrow brows and stroke goatees regarding a resolution to that problem by feeding the young quarterback to those savages from Pennsylvania. Thus saving the rookie, Quincy Carter from certain oblivion and ending any rebellion by veteran players and press alike.

The fact is that of the 13 series Dallas ran offensively, three bore fruit. Wright found the endzone on passes to Wane McGarrity, Raghib Ismail, and Mike Lucky. He also delivered the ball to Tay Cody once and Ryan McNeil twice, both of the vaunted Chargers, stopping Dallas drives and momentum.

Maybe an aspect lost in all of this is the drives that were killed by incompletions. Whether it was nerves, wrong routes or the crowned field, Wright overthrew his target frequently.

The best example of this would be the touchdown to McGarrity. The 5'8" receiver had to climb the ladder to grab a ball destined for the first row of endzone seats had Wane not interfered.

The second, fifth, seventh, and tenth series ended because of incompletions by Wright. Married with the fumble in the first series and interceptions in the 3rd, 9th, and 12th series, the misfires revealed how Wright struggled at times.

But the good news is he kept his head and didn't give up. The San Diego offense that was advanced 17 points at the beginning of the game finally put it away in the fourth quarter with 1:09 showing on the clock.

Anthony Wright will have better days. He may not face many defenses that offer him an opportunity to come back from such a deficit. But time under center will mature the quarterback, sharpening his wits to recognize the dangers in the opposition's backfield.

It's now up to the ailing thumb of Quincy Carter and the teetering determination of Dave Campo as to how much time Anthony Wright will have to improve.

If Sunday is any indication, 21 points is much better than 6. And all the justification a Dallas fan base needs to resolve the quarterback issue for Jerry Jones.

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