LA Chargers: 3 matchups that will determine Week 2 outcome vs. Dallas Cowboys
By Jason Reed
3. Derwin James vs. Ceedee Lamb
Derwin James was phenomenal in his regular-season return to the LA Chargers. James had not played since the 2019 season and any worries that he would not totally be the same guy were washed away. He was exceptional and a huge presence on the defensive side of the ball.
James started the game playing in the slot but moved all around the defense, which is what he has been known for. James is one of the most versatile players in the league and against Washington, he was used heavily in pass coverage.
Based on the weapons that the Cowboys have, I would bet that we are going to see a lot of James in pass coverage as well. There will be disguised looks to get him on a running back or rush the passer, but he will likely play mostly pass coverage.
Brandon Staley is all about matchups and one matchup that the Charger coaching staff is likely circling is Ceedee Lamb. James is obviously not going to be able to line up against Lamb on every play but Lamb is a very explosive pass catcher that is on his way to being the best receiver on the team over Amari Cooper.
Lamb was used all over the field against the Buccaneers. He played out wide, in the slot and even motioned into the backfield for some plays. Because of his positional versatility, I would bet that there are a lot of designed looks where James' focus is helping on Lamb.
With Michael Gallup out, if James can help limit Lamb's day and Michael Davis can hold up against Amari Cooper then the Cowboys may not score as much as people are expecting.