After nearly pulling off an incredible come from behind victory last week, the Dallas Cowboys will take to the road again this week to face the Carolina Panthers. The Carolina Panthers are struggling so far with this season with only one victory. The SportDFW writers’ predictions:
The Carolina Panthers have seemingly struggled in all phases this year. They certainly have the talent to succeed on offense, but for whatever reason they aren’t quite clicking. Luckily for the Dallas Cowboys, the Panthers also have one of the worst GM’s in the league: he has stacked their team with RB’s and LB’s, two of the easiest positions to fill. QB Tony Romo and the offense should be able to put points on the Panthers’ defense, which in turn should somewhat negate their running game. The difference between a blow out and the game being a shoot out will be the Cowboys ability to rush the passer. Dallas Cowboys owner and GM Jerry Jones‘ decision to ignore the front seven in the offseason is looking disastrous at this point. If OLB DeMarcus Ware, DE Jason Hatcher, and NT Jay Ratliff can regain some of their past success rushing the passer, it will be huge for the Cowboys in this game and going forward. Unfortunately, based on what I’ve seen up to this point, I have no reason to believe that’s likely to happen. Still, that Panthers defense has been horrid, and that could be the difference in the game.
Dallas Cowboys 31- Carolina Panthers 28
In spite of the fact that the Carolina Panthers have struggled to find the endzone (only 4 TD passes to WR’s), they have a few potent weapons. QB Cam Newton is always a run threat, and he flashes greatness at times. However, Newton’s highlights are tarnished by his inconsistency. He has a cannon for an arm, but tends to overthrow his receivers at times. In spite of the fact they have struggled to run the ball the Panthers are solid up front with LT Jordan Gross and LG Amini Silatolu the former LT out of midwestern State (who I had mocked for the Cowboys in 2012) are both doing a nice job. What hurt this OL was losing Ryan Kalil the All Pro center to injury (another player I formerly mocked for the Cowboys). The RT Byron Bell has struggled because he doesn’t move well. think the key to getting some pressure on Newton will be lining Ware up on Bell’s side. Once Ware gets to his outside and gets his shoulder past him he is home free. If Bell gets his hands on a guy he can hold his own, so Ware needs to take advantage of his lead feet and beat him to the edge.
Cam has veteran WR Steve Smith who has hands like glue and the ability run all the routes. In spite of not being very tall he has the ability to jump up and get the ball. The key match up will be who covers him. Newtons weapon of choice so far this year has been his TE Olsen. He leads the team in receptions and lines up all over the place. He can be a deep threat the same as being effective on the short hook routes. I am leery that the Cowboys have a LB that can cover him. I would suggest playing one of the 3 CB’s in the box as a safety to cover him. Carolina has a solid LB corp which may limit short passes and effect the running game. I think the key to winning this game will be getting pressure on Newton. If he has time in the pocket, Smith will win one on one battles down the field. The Panthers have a weak secondary, so my suggestion would be putting Beasley in the slot and using Dez and Miles both on the outside to take the FS out of the game to help the CB’s. This will free up Beasley, who I believe can win most one on one battles. If The OL can keep Romo upright he should be able to torch the Panthers suspect secondary. I am not predicting a score because I never know which Cowboys team will show up, but this should be an easy win for the Cowboys if they can run the ball like they did in Baltimore and take Cam’s cannon out of the game by bringing some pressure.
The Dallas Cowboys are going to trounce the Carolina Panthers. This is will be a ‘get-well’ game for the Cowboys. They will play well in all phases of the game, and that performance will set the tone for the rest of the season. I continue to have visions of QB Tony Romo hoisting the Lombardi Trophy over his head at the end of this season. A Cowboys victory in the Super Bowl will have an enormous impact on human civilization. To read the details, click here.
If you’re a Cowboys fan, aren’t you wondering how the Boys will find a way to lose this week? You almost expect it. They find new ways to win all of the time. If Cam Newton and the Panthers were playing better, I’d pick the Cowboys would lose, but given Newton’s struggles and how the Panthers have looked so far this year, the Cowboys would really have to botch something up to lose this game. Having said that, it wouldn’t shock me if the Panthers pull out a way to win.
Dallas Cowboys 27 – Carolina Panthers 20
About halfway through the 2012 season the Carolina Panthers are struggling through a potential sophomore slump. They were the hot pick to make a run at the NFC south after QB Cam Newton’s rookie season, but starting 1-4, with their only win coming against an equally struggling New Orleans Saints team was not what anyone expected. On the other sideline, you just don’t know what to expect from the Dallas Cowboys who lost a heartbreaker last week after missing a game winning field goal as time expired. Most of the game last week the Cowboys looked better than the Ravens, but disciplinary problems and clock management issues continue to handcuff this team. They will have no Demarco Murray so Felix Jones, who had a great game last week for the first time in a long time, will have to shoulder a lot of the load offensively. I ‘d like to think that he Cowboys will win in convincing fashion, but they will probably do exactly the opposite of what I think.
Dallas Cowboys 31 – Carolina Panthers 19
C. Joseph Wright:
The Dallas Cowboys should beat the Carolina Panthers handily. QB Can Newton and the rest of the offense are not consistent enough to outscore the Cowboys, particularly when the Panthers’ defense is so bad. For a more detailed look at the game, please click here.
Dallas Cowboys 28 – Carolina Panthers 14