The Cowboys put up 23 unanswered points and turned a first-half slugfest with the Panthers into a slaughter. The final score of 36-28 against Carolina moves Dallas to 3-1 on the season.
Ezekiel Elliott led the offense with 143 rushing yards and a touchdown on just 20 carries. It was Zeke’s highest rushing total since 2018, with nearly 100 yards coming in just the second half.
Dak Prescott put up four passing touchdowns despite only having 188 yards, doing his part as a drive-finisher and making some critical plays when it mattered. One of his best moments came on the ground, scrambling on a 4th-down play and ripping off a 21-yard run one a first-half drive.
Trevon Diggs recorded two interceptions, giving him five for the year and making Defensive Player of the Year a real conversation now. But our new superstar wasn’t the only stud in the secondary; Anthony Brown had a solid performance in coverage and Jayron Kearse continued to show up in multiple spots.
The front line also got into the action. Randy Gregory had two sacks in the first half to lead a five-sack day; Micah Parsons and Tarell Basham added one each while Osa Odighizuwa and Chauncey Golston split another.
It wasn’t total dominance; Sam Darnold through for over 300 yards and and scored four two touchdowns, two of which he ran in. The Panthers runners totaled 113 yards overral.
Still, this game showed things we’ve longed to see from the Cowboys. They looked much stronger after halftime and made big plays on both sides of the ball to take and hold momentum. While Carolina ultimately lost by eight, the true story of the game wasn’t so close.
The win maintains Dallas’ lead in the NFC East as Washington was also victorious against Atlanta, moving them to 2-2. The Eagles and Giants are now both 1-3 after Philly lost to Kansas City and New York got their first win of 2021 over the Saints.
The Cowboys will host those Giants next Sunday.