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3 months ago

Carolina Panthers vs Dallas Cowboys Week 4 Preview

D210SPORTS
D210SPORTS
FRISCO, Texas – With an impressive 41-21 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, the Dallas Cowboys improved to 2-1 and sit atop the NFC East. The Cowboys exploited the Eagles’ two-high shell with 160 yards on the ground from their one-two punch of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard. Dallas played a complementary football game with the defense notching two takeaways. The Cowboys will look to carry the momentum against the undefeated Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Here are some storylines for both teams entering Sunday’s NFC showdown.

Panthers

The Panthers are coming off a 24-9 victory against the Houston Texans in Week 3 and will once again head to Texas to face the Cowboys. Despite the win, Carolina lost two key playmakers on both sides of the football. The team’s featured back, Christian McCaffrey, strained his hamstring in the second quarter and the club’s 2021 first-round pick Jaycee Horn broke multiple bones in his foot and will be placed on IR. Without McCaffrey, the team’s primary workhorse on the ground and his dynamic pass-catching ability, more stress with fall on quarterback Sam Darnold. Rookie running back Chuba Hubbard totaled 79 yards in Week 3, and he will look to mirror that performance against Dallas to create favorable matchups on the outside for weapons like D.J. Moore.

To help solidify the cornerback position with Horn’s absence, the Panthers acquired C.J. Henderson from the Jaguars for a third-round pick and tight end Dan Arnold. Henderson is expected to make his debut against America’s Team.

Carolina will arrive at AT&T Stadium with the top-ranked defense in the NFL. The Panthers are allowing just 191 yards-per-game, a byproduct of Phil Snow’s penetrating defensive front. Snow utilizes exotic fronts and creative pressures, centered around the athleticism of Haason Reddick and Brian Burns. The Panthers lead the league with 14 sacks, curtesy of Reddick (4.5) and Burns (three). Their explosive get-offs have consistently harassed opposing quarterbacks. Winning the battle in the trenches will be critical for the Cowboys’ offensive line on Sunday.

“They’re really crowding the ball, getting off the ball, a lot of activity,” Mike McCarthy told D210SPORTS on Carolina’s pass rush. “We got to make sure we know these guys. They’re playing with good juice.”

Cowboys

Dak Prescott’s command at the line of scrimmage and quick release has created the team’s favorable tempo. He posted a 143.3 passer rating against the Eagles, but the Cowboys ability to establish the run in the previous two games has factored into their two wins. Against the Chargers’ light box, Kellen Moore dialed up a perimeter-based attack to get Pollard in space. His shiftiness and ability to elude tackles carved up L.A.’s defense. A week later against the Eagles, the team found success with a downhill rushing attack that maximized Elliott’s power through tackles. Elliott is tied for the league lead with three rushing touchdowns and Pollard has eclipsed the 60-yard marker in t

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