Which version of the Cowboys shows up on Monday night vs. the Chargers?

October 8, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy (left) and
October 8, 2023; Santa Clara, California, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy (left) and / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

It’s safe to say that one of the more startling results of the early stages of the 2023 NFL season. Not so much the fact that the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Dallas Cowboys, but it was the manner in which they disposed of Mike McCarthy’s club.

The Niners’ offense amassed 421 total yards, the most allowed by Dan Quinn’s unit this season, and six offensive touchdowns. San Francisco scored at least one TD in each quarter. The Cowboys came up with a season-low one sack. Meanwhile, it was a rough afternoon for quarterback Dak Prescott as Dallas managed season lows in points scored (10) and total offensive yards (197) in the 42-10 loss.

Rollercoaster ride

So, what can be expected tonight when the team takes on the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium? McCarthy’s team is 3-2 and the disparity in the numbers when it comes to wins and losses is startling. In victories over the Giants, Jets and Patriots, the Cowboys have outscored those clubs by a combined 108-13 count. In the losses to the Cardinals and 49ers, Dallas has surrendered a whopping 70 points.

McCarthy’s offensive unit has come up with nine touchdowns in five games, seven TDs in the three wins and just two total touchdowns in the losses at Arizona and at San Francisco.

Hit or miss

The Cowboys have led the NFL in takeaways in each of the past two seasons and are among the league leaders this season, forcing 11 turnovers in five games. However, 10 of those takeaways have come in their three victories opposed to one opponent miscue in two setbacks.

Tonight’s match-up with the Bolts should be interesting and not just because former Dallas’ offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is now calling the plays for the well-rested Chargers (off last week). Brandon Staley’s team has turned over the ball just twice during its 2-2 start.

Both of these clubs are chasing 5-1 teams atop their respective divisions. Every one of the Cowboys’ five games have been decided by double-digits. Will that pattern continue on Monday night?