* Dallas and San Diego have opened the season against each other one other time, with the Cowboys claiming a 17-14 win in Dallas on Sept. 9, 1990.
* Four of the seven games played between these two teams have been decided by six points or less.
* The Cowboys are 3-1 in games played in San Diego.
* A victory would increase the Cowboys series advantage to 6-2, including a 4-1 record in San Diego.
* A victory would also improve the Cowboys NFC best opening day record to 31-14-1.
* Dallas is trying to open the season with a victory for the first time since 1999, snapping a five-game losing streak in season openers and snap a three-game losing streak to AFC teams.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We're playing a very good team this week. Anybody who
watches football last year knows they're good. But that represents a very
good opportunity for us. It really does. I think somehow, if we're able to
pull that off, I think it will go a long way for our confidence. I look at
it as a great opportunity and hopefully we'll be at our best when we get
there. I don't think it's going to be perfect, but we'll just try to get
them in position. I've got some young, eager guys who are willing to play
harder than somebody else sometimes." * Cowboys coach Bill Parcells.
GAME PLAN: The Cowboys and Chargers play similar styles because their
coaches have similar philosophies. Cowboys coach Bill Parcells will try to
establish the ground game on offense with Julius Jones. Because it will be
hard to run on the Chargers defense, Drew Bledsoe must make a few plays in
the passing game. Defensively, they have to contain running back LaDainian Tomlinson and force Drew Brees to beat them without his favorite target,
tight end Antonio Gates.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH: Chargers NT Jamal Williams vs. Cowboys C Al Johnson - Williams is the key
to the Chargers' strong run defense. He is tough to move out the middle.
Johnson doesn't have the size to handle Williams all game. The Cowboys will
rotate in Andre Gurode at center in hopes of getting movement against
Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson vs. Cowboys run defense - Tomlinson is
simply the best running back in the league. He will be tough to stop for a
Cowboys defense that is playing the 3-4 for the first time and is relying on
a lot of rookies. Growing pains are expected by the Cowboys but they must
not have too much trouble in the their run defense or they will get run over by
Season Opener News & Notes
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