Spagnola: Dallas Cowboys Kneeling is acceptable.

The Dallas Cowboys won the suspenseful game at SoFi Stadium, defeating the Los Angeles Chargers by a narrow 20-17 margin. As seen by the Philadelphia Eagles’ first loss of the season to the New York Jets and the San Francisco 49ers’ unexpected decline against the Cleveland Browns just one week after an outstanding performance against the Cowboys, a win is a win in the NFL’s highly competitive landscape.

With this tough win, the Cowboys go to 4-2 as they enter their bye week, one game behind the Eagles in the NFC East and behind the 5-1 Niners, Lions, and Eagles in the NFC as a whole.

Head coach Mike McCarthy praised his troops for their unalterable resolve and noted that they went above and above to securing the victory. The Cowboys experienced many difficulties during the contest, including a sluggish beginning that left them behind 7-0. Despite having a 17-10 advantage with 7:11 remaining, a special play caused the Chargers to tie the game at 17-17, putting the Cowboys in an awkward position.

Instead, they pulled through against a defense that was still struggling, and McCarthy’s best opinion of it was, “We’re getting there,” thanks to some first responders who were a little late.

The Cowboys only managed to score 20 points against the Chargers, whose pass defensive was among the worst in the NFL and who had the 31st-ranked defense overall. It was a far cry from the offensive supremacy they displayed in earlier games. Still, they were able to capture what veteran defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence called a “crucial win” because it was unacceptable to lose two straight games before the bye.

Consider the remarkable Brandon Aubrey, the rookie kicker who seamlessly converted his 15th and then 16th consecutive field goals at the start of this season. The 16th one, struck from a distance of 39 yards, would eventually become the game-winning kick with just 2 minutes and 19 seconds remaining. Such an achievement should not be underestimated, especially when compared to the missed 41-yard attempt by San Francisco’s rookie kicker, Jake Moody, which could have sealed a walk-off victory for his team.

In the fourth quarter, Prescott’s effort broke a 10-10 deadlock with an accurate 2-yard touchdown toss to Brandin Cooks and an 18-yard touchdown run. Prescott had a QB rating of 109.3 after completing 21 of 30 throws for a season-high 272 yards with no interceptions. Tony Pollard’s 60-yard gain on a scramble pass to set up the winning scoring was a key play.

The Cowboys’ traditionally weak run defense has stopped the Chargers to only 53 rushing yards and only allowed Herbert to have an 84.0 quarterback rating. In a contest where the offense had trouble, the team’s defensive efforts were essential.

When the Cowboys had to put Leighton Vander Esch on injured reserve, Micah Parsons was forced to play both defensive end and linebacker. With 1:29 remaining in the contest and the Cowboys having seized a 20-17 lead, Prescott finally, finally recorded the team’s first sack of Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert. Third-and-10 at the Los Angeles 25-yard line resulted from that play.

This close game highlighted the Cowboys’ capacity to eke out a victory when necessary and highlighted the unpredictability of the NFL. The team’s determination in tight games was underscored by Dak Prescott’s 20th game-winning drive. The Cowboys now enter their bye week with a hard-earned victory, aware that they must keep having faith in themselves and be ready for NFL games that will be much more competitive.

Micah Parsons made a significant contribution on defense by getting the team’s first-ever sack of Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert. Leighton Vander Esch’s replacement, safety Markquese Bell, who typically plays linebacker, had a big effect, finishing with seven tackles and one pass deflection.

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