The Dallas Cowboys picked up their first preseason road win in a decade as they continue to build on their season opener on Sept. 11.

DALLAS — The Dallas Cowboys picked up their first win of the preseason with a 32-18 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday night. With the win in Los Angeles, the Cowboys finally ended a ridiculous 10-year road game drought.

After a lackluster loss in the preseason opener, the Cowboys responded with a better effort and a victory highlighted by a special performance by KaVontay Turpin. The returning rookie wasn’t the only bright spot for Dallas, but he led the way with two goals in the first half.

Here are some observations from the Cowboys’ win over the Chargers in Dallas’ second of three preseason contests:

Cowboys found their believer

The Cowboys came into training camp needing to find a way to return both kickoffs and punts. Turpin was the USFL MVP and was signed shortly after camp opened to help the returning unit.

Last year, the leading kicker was running back Tony Pollard, and the leading punt returner was C.D. Lamb, who returned a wide kick. Both of these players will be relied on heavily on offense and the team needed to find someone else to step up.

Turpin kicked a 98-yard field goal in the first quarter and an 86-yard field goal in the second quarter to give the Cowboys a lead they would never relinquish. The touchdowns cemented Turpin’s spot on the 53-man roster. Also, it seems like the team would be wise to try to find creative ways to get the swift receiver more looks on offense.

Mike McCarthy said he wants to be a physical team that can run the ball to control the line of scrimmage. Against the Chargers, the Cowboys offense managed 115 yards on the ground, but most of that damage was done in the first half.

Dallas showed they have perhaps the strongest group of running backs in the league as both Ricka Dowdle and rookie Malik Davis ran well and found the end zone. The duo combined for 81 yards and two touchdowns behind a young offensive line that paved the way.

The RBs found successful running lanes behind rookie left guard Tyler Smith and backup center Matt Farniuk in an overall stellar night for the linemen. It was a positive step in the right direction for Smith, who did have a penalty for a false start but regularly pushed defenders on the play.

As strong as the running game is, the passing game still seems to lag behind. The Cowboys were only able to throw for 127 yards and no one stepped up in the battle for the backup quarterback position.

Cooper Rush had some success and really looked like he would rush for a touchdown, but rookie receiver Jalen Tolbert couldn’t get down with both feet in the end zone. This miss is on a rookie WR, but it wasn’t a sharp play for either QB.

The Cowboys will need to continue to evaluate what they have behind starting quarterback Dak Prescott and have one more preseason game to figure it out.

Jourdan Lewis’ hamstring injury has put the Cowboys at a third cornerback position, and there has yet to be an answer from second-year Kelvin Joseph or Nahshan Wright.

Saturday’s contest was another tough game for Wright, who was tackled for a 41-yard gain and picked up a pass interference penalty. Joseph was also beaten for a potential long gain if not for a drop by the Los Angeles receiver.

Neither CB has asserted themselves in the conversation to take over as one of the top corners on the roster, which is a concern. If Lewis isn’t ready by Week 1 of the regular season, the Cowboys can’t get comfortable with any of their options. Joseph and Wright continue to struggle, while rookie CB DaRon Bland still appears to be a work in progress.

One of the biggest question marks for the Cowboys still remains at wide receiver. After Lamb, there doesn’t seem to be a WR capable of consistently beating defenses. Veteran WR Noah Brown didn’t play, and while second-year tight end Simi Fehok did have a nice third catch, the receivers combined for just five catches on the night.

The most glaring mistake of the game was made by rookie WR Tolbert, who should have scored but got lazy with his footwork in the end zone.

If Tolbert is going to be counted on as an integral part of the offense early in the season, he needs to be better. Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore planned for the rookie to score targets, but Tolbert caught just two of his four passes.

It would help if the receivers caught passes from Prescott in the preseason, but the Cowboys are unlikely to give Prescott any snaps in the exhibition finale.

What impressed you the most during the Cowboys’ preseason win? Share your thoughts with Ben on Twitter @BenGrimaldi.

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