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The Dallas Cowboys are hoping that Thanksgiving can be the solution to their recent problems, as they look to quell a two-game losing streak when they host the San Diego Chargers on Thursday afternoon.
Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on CBS. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can still watch a live stream of the game on your computer or another streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services. They cost a monthly fee but all come with a free trial, so you can watch today’s game at no cost:
CBS All Access: This service lets you watch a live stream of your local CBS channel (most markets included) for $5.99 per month. It comes with a free 7-day trial, and you can watch on your computer via the CBS website, or on your tablet or streaming device via the CBS app
FuboTV: CBS (live in at least 20 markets) is included in the “Fubo Premier” channel package, which gives you access to 70-plus channels and costs $19.99 per month for the first two months and $39.99 per month after that. It also comes with a free 7-day trial, and you can watch on your computer via the FuboTV website, or on your tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app
With essentially no chance to win the NFC East after last week’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles (FiveThirtyEight puts Philly’s odds of winning the division at 99 percent), and in a crowded wild-card race (there are currently four non-division-leaders in the NFC that are above .500), the Cowboys are likely going to need to get to 10 wins to return to the playoffs. That means, at 5-5, they have little room for error moving forward.
“You can’t feel sorry for yourself,” Cowboys tight end Jason Witten said. “It’s all in front of us. We’ve got to find a way to get one win. That’s the mentality.”
Fortunately for Dallas, Thursday is likely to mark the return of left tackle Tyron Smith–and that’s a huge upgrade to a struggling offense. The ‘Boys have been without Smith the last two weeks, and durant that stretch, they have amazingly allowed nearly as many sacks (12) as they have scored points (16), they’ve averaged a brutal 3.75 yards per play (Baltimore is last in the NFL for the year at 4.3), and they’ve turned it over six times. The absence of Ezekiel Elliott still hurts, but the impact of Smith’s return can’t be overstated.
And he’ll get a tough test in his first game back. The Chargers are sixth in the NFL in sack percentage, as Joey Bosa (10.5 sacks), Melvin Ingram (8.5) and Chris McCain (5.0) have made life miserable for opposing offensive linemen. If Smith can help slow down the Chargers’ elite pass rush, the Cowboys have a good chance of resembling the team that averaged 31.7 points in the six games before his injury. If he’s still not at 100 percent, though, the Chargers could have a field day.
On the other side of the ball, Dallas will again be without all-important linebacker Sean Lee (hamstring), though middle linebacker Anthony Hitchens (groin) is expected to play. The Falcons and Eagles found success on the ground against the Cowboys without Lee the last two weeks, though the Chargers have struggled in that facet, ranking 25th in the NFL in both yards per carry (3.9) and rushing yards per game (94.4).
All-in-all, it’s a compelling matchup between two teams that have struggled to find consistency this season but are probably both better than their record indicates. Moreover, with both still having a slight outside chance at the playoffs (13 percent for each of them, in fact), this essentially serves as a must-win game for each side, which only helps add to the intrigue.