Linebacker Victor Butler sacked Chargers quarterback Jonathan Crompton, forcing a fumble that rolled into the end zone that was receovered by Chargers' rookie tackle Ryan Otterson.
The end result was a safety, and a 16-14 Dallas win.
The guys kept fighting," Dallas head coach Wade Phillips said afterwards. "I didn't think we were playing our best to start out with, but we kept fighting and made plays at the end of the game."
Neither first-team offense was particularly productive in a game that featured turnovers, costly pentalities and miscues.
Tony Romo was 4-of-11 for 30 yards with a
touchdown and an interception even though he did lead Dallas to a touchdown for the first time this preseason.
After a long interception return setup a short field, Romo found Miles Austin for a nine-yard scoring strike with 2:08 left in the first half.
Meanwhile the Chargers were just as sloppy, commiting two turnovers in their first four
San Diego QB Philip Rivers was intercepted by Terence Newman on San Diego's first
possession of the game, but Romo gave it back six plays later when
he was picked off by Eric Weddle.
Rivers was involved what proved to be the most exciting moment of the night when he chased down Dallas defender Barry Church after a long fumble return in the first half.
San Diego was leading 7-0 late in the second quarter with
the ball on the Dallas 18 when Rivers threw a short pass to
Darren Sproles. Sproles then fumbled when hit by linebacker
Bradie James as Church scooped up the ball and ran the opposite way, but Rivers never gave up and brought him down at the San Diego 8.
Church, who was weaving in and out of traffic on the play trying to score, said around the
30-yard line and his legs started giving in.
"I thought the blocker was going to come and I was trying to set
him up to keep going outside, but I couldn't even move my legs," he said. "My legs felt numb. I was gassed. When he hit me, it was over. I
just went down."
With the win, the Cowboys improved to 2-1 in preseason play. Their next preseason matchup will be against the Texans next Saturday, Aug. 28 at Reliant Stadium.
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