2018 Week 1 Preview: Dallas Cowboys at Carolina Panthers

Here we go! Week one of the NFL is coming up and boy do we have a good slate of games to follow. Of course here at Dallas Sports Fan Shop we focus on our local Dallas Cowboys. Let’s take a look at their matchup against the Carolina Panthers.

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Home: Carolina Panthers

Away: Dallas Cowboys

Game Time: 3:25 CST

Channel: FOX

Overall Series: 9-4 Dallas Cowboys

Interesting Fact: Two of the Cowboys four losses have been to the Panthers in the playoffs.

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Last Meeting: November 26th, 2015. The Carolina Panthers crushed the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving that year. Dallas lost the game in embarrassing fashion 33-14. Tony Romo returned to the after a broken collarbone injury. Unfortunately for him he was knocked out of the game after throwing three interceptions.

Matchup: This will be a fun one for sure. Dak Prescott versus Cam Newton. This will probably be the headline but it will be fun to see what happens all around. Elliott is coming into the season without any looming suspension. Dallas will be without Jason Witten, Dez Bryant, and Dan Bailey for the first time in years. Along with Cam, Carolina comes into the game with a healthy Greg Olsen, dynamic Christian McCaffrey, and a very strong defense.

What To Look For: It will be interesting to watch the progression of Cam Newton and Dak Prescott. Both quarterbacks have had different types of flaws early in their respective careers. Both quarterbacks will also get a chance to display what they have been working on in the offseason.

Keys to Win:

  • Establish Run: This is going to be difficult for this Cowboys team as they are facing several question marks coming into this season. The biggest question mark is in regards to the Offensive line. If the line does not hold up, expect the Cowboys to be done early.
  • Contain Newton: If the Cowboys can make Newton one dimensional it could work in their favor. We all know the dual threat that Newton brings onto the field at quarterback. We also know that he isn’t as good of a passer as one might assume him to be. Make his stand tall in the pocket. He will get rattled if he cannot find lanes to run.
  • Force Turnovers: This sounds easy but trust me on this. The Panthers should be able to cough up the ball, especially Newton. If the Cowboys get a few of these opportunities then game on.

Prediction: It’s week one and I feel our offense is still rusty. As much as I want the Cowboys to win, this might not be the week. Cam Newton is a monster and in his prime. His weapons look to be plentiful and dangerous. Plus the Panthers defense is no joke. I expect the Cowboys to lose this one in disappointing fashion 34-16.

Sources:

Pro Football Reference

ESPN

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