We've got a fascinating matchup on tap for "Monday Night Football," as the Los Angeles Chargers play host to the Dallas Cowboys in the final game of Week 6. 

L.A. is coming off its bye and should be healthier than it has been in a few weeks, while Dallas is looking to rebound from a disastrous defeat at the hands to the San Francisco 49ers a week ago. The Chargers also bring with them former Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, who was unceremoniously cast aside this offseason and is sure to be out for revenge against his former squad. 

Can the Cowboys bounce back from their dispiriting Sunday night loss, or will the Chargers create some momentum out of their bye? We'll find out soon enough. Before we break down the matchup, here's a look at how you can watch the game. 

How to watch

Date: Monday, Oct. 16 | Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Location: SoFi Stadium (Inglewood, California)
TV: ABC/ESPN | Stream: fubo
Follow: CBS Sports App 
Odds: Cowboys -1.5, O/U 51 (via Sportsline consensus odds)

When the Cowboys have the ball

Dallas made a play-calling change this offseason, jettisoning former offensive coordinator Kellen Moore (more on him in a minute) in favor of handing the play sheet to head coach Mike McCarthy. The change has not yielded the desired results. 

The same issues that plagued McCarthy's offenses late during his tenure with the Green Bay Packers have followed him to Dallas, as the Cowboys have largely run an unimaginative, staid offense that relies almost exclusively on slant/flat and stick route combinations along with go balls in one-on-one situations on the outside. It's led to Dak Prescott checking in 27th in the NFL in air yards per attempt (out of 33 qualifiers, per TruMedia), as well as 26th in air yards in relation to the first-down marker. Dallas receivers not named CeeDee Lamb have struggled badly to create separation and opponents are sitting on the quick stuff, so Prescott has been left throwing into tight windows too often. 

Those issues have been masked in three of the team's five games by outrageous defensive performances that turned the contests into laughers. In losses to the Cardinals and 49ers, however, they were readily apparent. Coincidentally, those are also the issues that consistently plagued the Chargers over the last two years under former offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi. And to remedy them, they hired ... the aforementioned Kellen Moore. (Again, more on him in a minute.) 

Dallas has also largely been ineffective in the run game, with Tony Pollard clearly feeling the after-effects of the fractured leg that ended his season a year ago. Pollard throughout his career has been one of the most consistently explosive runners in the NFL, routinely breaking tackles and generating long runs. Both of those attributes have all but vanished this year as Pollard has limped to just 4.2 yards per carry with an avoided tackle rate (7.4%) that ranks dead last among 30 running backs with 50 or more carries this season, per TruMedia. His explosive run rate checks in 21st among the same group of players. Across his four prior seasons, Pollard ranked sixth in avoided tackle rate (22.4%) and tied for third in explosive rush rate (10.6%) among the 68 backs with 250 or more carries.

Luckily for Dallas, the Chargers have been been one of the friendliest defenses for opposing offenses to attack. They check in 31st in EPA/play allowed on passes and 27th against runs, according to TruMedia. Opposing quarterbacks have completed 65.8% of their passes at an average of 8.3 yards per attempt, consistently generating explosive plays (10.8% of dropbacks vs. a 7.7% league average) and rarely facing pressured (29.5% of dropbacks vs. a 34.7% league average). Running backs have been gifted 1.55 yards before contact per carry, a mark that checks in *just* outside the league's bottom-10 among run defenses. And they've yielded 4.7 yards per carry on first downs, the eighth-worst figure in the league. 

So, there will be opportunities here for the Cowboys to have their first truly explosive offensive performance of the year. The question is whether they can actually take advantage of said opportunities, or if they will instead remain content to try to matriculate the ball downfield in small chunks, so terrified of making mistakes that they back their offense into third-and-long corners and need the quarterback to bail them out. Their best strategy here is to get the ball to Lamb early and often, even if Jerry Jones said during a radio appearance this week that he would rather see the team spread the ball around and get the tight ends more involved. Dallas needs to start making explosive plays, and Lamb represents by far their best path to doing so. 

When the Chargers have the ball

The Chargers get an important weapon back this week with the return of Austin Ekeler, though they still unfortunately have to deal with the absence of Mike Williams, who is out for the year after tearing his ACL a few weeks back. The offense should again be centered on Ekeler and Keenan Allen, with Josh Palmer, Quentin Johnston, Gerald Everett, and Donald Parham Jr. emerging as supplementary targets.

That focus on Ekeler and Allen actually bodes well in this matchup, what with Dallas missing linebacker Leighton Vander Esch and having moved cornerback DaRon Bland to the outside in the wake of Trevon Diggs' torn ACL. The best way to attack the Dallas defense at the moment is likely with at-you runs and passes over the middle of the field, and that's where Ekeler and Allen do their best work. 

Moore should theoretically know the preferred plan of attack against a defense he saw every day in practice for four years, but it's also easier said than done. The Dallas pass rush has been so terrifyingly good in three of the team's five games this season that the opposing offense has barely been able to function. Between Micah Parsons, Demarcus Lawrence, Dante Fowler Jr., Sam Williams, Osa Odighizuwa and Chauncey Golston, Dan Quinn has bodies he can send from all over the place, and it is usually incredibly difficult for even the best of offensive lines to deal with them. 

Of course, one of Justin Herbert's best qualities is his ability to navigate the pass rush and avoid both sacks and turnovers. Opposing defenses have sent pressure after him at a significantly higher rate than typical passers (blitzed on 39.6% of his dropbacks vs. a league average of 28.2%), yet he's only been pressured on 31.7% of pass plays and sacked just 5.8% of the time. He gets the ball out quickly (2.67 seconds to throw, 11th-fastest out of 33 qualified quarterbacks) but still manages to push the ball downfield, as exemplified by his 8.8 air yards per attempt average that checks in sixth among the same group of players. 

The question here is whether he can continue doing that against a defense that has mostly not allowed opponents to do so. The Niners were able to move the ball with extreme ease against this Cowboys defense last week. For the Chargers to do the same, they will have to enact a similar plan to neutralize the Dallas pass rush while simultaneously gashing them with throws over the middle and down the field. Moore is a very good offensive coordinator who consistently did that type of thing while he was with Dallas, but of course, he didn't have to face the Dallas defense on game days. 

Prediction: Cowboys 26, Chargers 23

This seems like the type of game where we see two teams that are mirror images of each other trying to attack the opposing defense in very much the same way. Because the Cowboys have the better defense and are thus a bit less likely to give up the explosive gain, we're rolling with them in a close call.

I like my pick for this game, but you might like Larry Hartstein's better. He's our gambling guru over at SportsLine.com and he's been on roll with his Cowboys predictions, going 17-5 on his last 22 picks. Anyone who has followed him is WAY UP! If you want to check out Hartstein's pick, you can do that here.