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Chargers' pass rush concerns Cowboys QB Dak Prescott

COSTA MESA, Calif. -- Be ready to move.

That, in a nutshell, was what Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott had to say about the pass rush of the Los Angeles Chargers, which he will face on Thursday.

Led by Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, the Chargers are No. 3 in the NFL with 30 sacks this season. And lately the Cowboys have struggled to protect Prescott, with Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith missing the past two games with a groin issue.

Smith was listed as a limited participant in practice Monday, and Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said his availability will be a game-time decision.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Prescott has been sacked 12 times in the last two games, with at least four in each game. Prior to that stretch, the second-year quarterback had had only one four-sack game in his pro career.

The Chargers have forced 15 turnovers and recorded 15 sacks over the last five games.

"It's a great defense," Prescott said. "They get after it. They've won four of the last six, and I think it's been from what they've been doing on defense and the ball production they've had.

"Obviously, you watch the film from last week [and you see] great ball production, getting to the quarterback [and] causing havoc. I think up front they might not be the most talented we play, but they have the hardest motor and highest motor. They go after it every play. That's a great quality to have in this league."

Bosa (10.5 sacks) and Ingram (8.5) have been one of the top pass-rushing combinations in the league. Their 19.0 combined sacks are second-most of any pass-rushing tandem.

Bosa has recorded 21.0 sacks in his first 22 NFL games and has at least a sack in six straight games, per ESPN Stats & Information. Since sacks became official in 1982, no player has recorded more sacks in his first 22 games than Bosa.

However, nine of Bosa's 10.5 sacks have come against the opposing team's right tackle.

"They're very active," Garrett said about the Chargers' defense. "They've got big-time rushers up front. They run to the ball. They tackle well, and they're opportunistic on the back end. It's a very good defense that plays the right way."

One way to slow down an aggressive pass rush is to run the football. But the Cowboys will be without talented running back Ezekiel Elliott for a third straight game as he serves a six-game suspension for violating the league's policy on domestic abuse.

Playing in Elliott's absence, Alfred Morris has totaled 144 rushing yards over the last two games.

"We've just got to be more consistent," Prescott said. "Without Zeke, the run game was there this past game, just the pass game wasn't. We've just got to be more consistent in doing that. Then you go back two weeks ago, and the pass game may have been there but we couldn't protect and hold up. It's about just being ourselves but knowing what we can and can't do."