Source: <a href="http://www.pe.com/sports/breakout/stories/PE_Sports_Local_D_chargers_side_12.9127a6e.html" target="_blank">The Press-Enterprise</a>
SAN DIEGO - Keenan McCardell came up one catch short of a great day.
Twice in San Diego's final four downs, McCardell got his hands on passes from Drew Brees in the Dallas end zone, and twice he had the ball -- and a chance for the potential game-winning touchdown catch -- knocked away.
Aaron Glenn intercepted Brees' last pass in the end zone, and the Cowboys held on, 28-24, after the Chargers had a last-gasp shot with a first down at the 7 with 42 seconds left.
"You want to have the ball with a chance to win," said McCardell, a receiver who caught nine passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns. "They just made the plays at the end."
Wideout Eric Parker set up the nerve-racking final series by pulling in Brees' desperation fourth-and-14 heave from Dallas' 40-yard line.
"I thought after they caught that big one we were in trouble," said Dallas coach Bill Parcells. "But we made some plays. Four straight plays in the red zone, that's pretty good."
On first down McCardell ran an out pattern and reached for Brees' pass, but Dallas cornerback Anthony Henry got his hand on the ball, too, and jammed it loose.
"That one was real close," McCardell said. "Give Henry credit. He stuck his hand in and followed me all the way down."
Brees lofted his second-down pass well over the head of covered tight end Justin Peelle.
On third down he fired the ball over the middle to McCardell, slanting through the crowded end zone.
"I was trying to jump through (the defenders) and when I got up I had a chance to catch it," McCardell said.
As the ball hit his hands, McCardell was jackknifed in his midsection by safety Keith Davis and was dumped to the ground without the ball.
Brees' fourth-down pass to Parker in the middle was tipped in Glenn's hands.
The ending spoiled an otherwise stellar afternoon for McCardell, who had his first 100-yard game for San Diego after joining them at midseason last year.
He caught touchdown passes of 20 and 17 yards and picked up some of what may have been Antonio Gates' yardage. Gates, the All-Pro tight end, missed the opener because he was suspended for failing to sign a contract before a team-imposed deadline. He has since signed a six-year extension.
"I won't go into that situation," McCardell said when asked if he were the primary target by design with go-to guy Gates on the sideline. "Everybody knew they had to step up. Not just me, everybody.
"(Gates) will be back this week and that'll be good for us."