With Tony Romo returning in Week 11 for the Dallas Cowboys, the focus was mainly on his ability to get throws out to all levels of the defense. However, people forgot about the defense and how well it performed against the Miami Dolphins. One player that struggled, however, was Byron Jones, the Cowboys' 2015 first-round pick.
Late in the Week 10 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Morris Claiborne left the contest with what looked to be a bad hamstring injury. That injury kept the fourth-year veteran out of the Cowboys' matchup against the Dolphins. Jones started in the place of Claiborne, and while the rookie has looked excellent all season, he was beaten twice for touchdowns on Sunday against Miami.
Brandon Carr wasn't necessarily bad in Week 11, but with the trio of Carr, Claiborne, and Jones, the Cowboys' secondary performs much better. The absence of Claiborne means Tyler Patmon is given a much bigger role. With a short week of rest, Dallas is playing safe rather than playing sorry.
I would expect the Cowboys to take the run away and make Cam Newton beat them by passing the football. Remember, the Panthers' receiving crops is weak, and that could be huge for this banged up secondary.