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CAR 16, DAL 8: Cowboys Open Flat, Fall Short to Panthers

The Dallas Cowboys opened their season with high expectations. For this first week, at least, those hopes were crushed with an ugly 16-8 loss to the Panthers.

The Cowboys’ offense was inept for most of the game. Dak Prescott only managed 170 yards through the air and was sacked six times. Ezekiel Elliott had 69 yards on 15 carries and ran for the team’s only touchdown.

Many of the sacks on Prescott came after time in the pocket, meaning that either his receivers weren’t getting open or Dak was missing opportunities. Cole Beasley led the way with seven catches for 73 yards.

Dallas’ defense was solid. They sacked Cam Newton three times and held Carolina to just 16 points despite the problems on the other side of the ball. But 147 yards were surrendered on the ground, which robbed the Cowboys of opportunities to try to fight back.

Down 16-0 in the 4th quarter, the Cowboys scored on an Elliott run and got the two-point conversion on a Prescott keeper. Their next offensive series ended on a failed 4th-down play, and then one more opportunity led to a game-ending fumble by Dak.

Other Notes

  • Brett Maher narrowly missed a 47-yard field goal in the 3rd quarter. While we can’t say what Dan Bailey would’ve done in that situation, you can’t help but wonder.
  • After Beasley, Deonte Thompson was the second-most targeted receiver and had three catches for 27 yards. Allen Hurns only had one catch for 20 yards in his Cowboys debut.
  • Dallas’ three sacks came from DeMarcus Lawrence, Maliek Collins, Jaylon Smith.
  • Kavon Frazier led the team eight tackles.
  • The Cowboys will look to get their first win next Sunday when they host the Giants. New York also lost their season opener today against the Jaguars.
  • Elsewhere in the NFC East, Washington joined the Eagles atop the division with a win in Arizona.

What do you think?

Jess Haynie

Written by Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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