The Dallas Cowboys are off to a good start to the 2021 season at 2-1. Most recently, coming off a 20-point win against the rival Philadelphia Eagles.
It was a win that looked complete on both sides of the ball. Dak Prescott completed over 80% for the second week in a row with 3 touchdown passes, Ezekiel Elliot and Tony Pollard provided a lethal 1-2 punch for over 150 yards combined (again) and the defense had plays made by everyone.
Micah Parsons and Osa Odighizuwa are having a great start to their rookie season, the safety position is as skilled and deep as ever, and Trevon Diggs is becoming one of the leagues best cornerbacks.
All arrows appear to be pointed up for this Dallas Cowboys team.
Now that the dust has settled, and the high is gone, it’s on to week 4 to take on the undefeated Carolina Panthers (3-0).
Sam Darnold is having a great start to his second chance under head coach Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady. Combining him with the likes of Christian McCaffrey, DJ Moore, Taylor Moton, Matt Paradis and Robby Anderson.
On top of that, the Panthers posses the league’s top ranked defense, consisting of playmakers like Brian Burns, Derrick Brown, Haason Riddick, Jeremy Chinn and Donte Jackson.
This game is a litmus test for both teams going forward. For the Panthers, it’s their first test against a top quarterback and offense, after facing the Jets, Saints and Texans. For the Cowboys, it’s to prove they can continue to move the ball on an elite defense, after doing so against the Buccaneers, Chargers and Eagles.
The staff at A to Z Sports made their picks and analysis for the game this weekend below:
Adam Holt (@Bolt_Holt)
The Cowboys’ passing game will be too much for the Panthers’ injured secondary. Although, the biggest matchup to watch is the awesome Carolina defensive line against the Dallas offensive line. They have to keep Prescott off his back in order to not get behind schedule on offense. In the end, Dak & the offense put enough together to outlast Carolina.
Cowboys 28 Panthers 20
Cole Patterson (@colelpatterson)
Dak Prescott is hitting on all cylinders and Kellen Moore is pressing the right buttons. Carolina’s defense presents a difficult challenge for the Dallas Cowboys offense, but questions in the secondary will give the Cowboys an advantage. On the other side of things, the loss of Christian McCaffrey will be too much for the Panthers to overcome with the way that the Dallas defense is performing of late.
Cowboys 31 Panthers 22
Jadon Vann (@jadonvann)
The Cowboys offense will make a statement against the Panthers defense this week showing just how good they really are. CMC being out will put a ton of weight on Darnold’s shoulders, and the Cowboys defense will be prepared. I expect the defense to have another great week.
Cowboys 30 Panthers 13
Mauricio Rodriguez (@MauNFL)
The Panthers are 3-0 for more reasons than just their schedule. But I expect the Cowboys’ offense to beat a banged up Carolina secondary.
Cowboys 27 Panthers 20
Shane Carter (@ShaneCarterTx)
The loss of Jaycee Horn hurts the secondary, and CJ Henderson will need time to adjust. Despite that, they still have playmakers in their secondary and front-7 to keep them in the game. What hurts the most is the loss of Christian McCaffery, who accounts for 30.2% of their total offense to this point. Sam Darnold and DJ Moore have made a nice connection, but the Cowboys have plenty of playmakers on defense to slow Carolina. Having Dak Prescott as your quarterback doesn’t hurt either.
Cowboys 23 Panthers 17