IRVING, Texas –The Cowboys are looking to avoid a three-game losing skid as they travel to Carolina and face Cam Newton and the Panthers.
The DallasCowboys.com writing staff shares its expectations for Sunday's game in Carolina. Here is the gut feeling of Nick Eatman, Rowan Kavner, Jonathan Auping and Bryan Broaddus.
Nick: I get the feeling a lot of Cowboys fans are feeling confident about this game – maybe it's because of last week's performance or the simple fact that sandwiched in between Baltimore and the Giants and then Atlanta and Philly to follow, that Carolina is the most winnable game in the group and therefore the Cowboys just have to win this one. Not bad logic on the "have to win" part. This is a big game for the Cowboys and I think they're a better team in every phase. I think Romo can pass the ball around with success. Cam Newton will be dangerous at times, but I like the Cowboys to prevail. And remember that feeling you had about all those Bears fans coming into Cowboys Stadium, look for something like that when Dallas fans invade Bank of America Stadium on Sunday.
Bryan:Rob Ryan and his players take a lot of pride in their ability not to bust assignments and give up huge plays during a game. There were times last season where this wasn't the case but this year is different. Ryan took the blame for not having the right scheme call on the Ray Rice catch and run against the Ravens. Right or wrong you have seen improvement in not being out of position on plays. My gut feeling for this week is that Ryan and this staff will have a solid game plan for Cam Newton and the Panthers when it comes to defending this offense. This defense has to be focused and assignment sure which I believe they will be. It's not an easy offense to handle but Ryan has the athletes with Carter, Lee, Ware and Spencer to match what they are about to see and that will make the difference.
Jonathan:My gut feeling is that if you have Tony Romo on your fantasy team it would be a good week to start him. The Panthers' defense has been average on good weeks. With Murray out the Cowboys will use their passing game to get ahead. Expect Kevin Ogletree and Miles Austin to be big parts of the offense again. Cam Newton may have his moments, but I wouldn't expect the Panthers to keep up.
Rowan:The Cowboys are in trouble if they don't win this one. The Panthers are the only team with a losing record in their next four matchups, including away trips to Atlanta and Philadelphia. Carolina has a week to prepare, but if the Panthers come out the way they started the season, there's no reason the Cowboys shouldn't be able to pull this one out. Carolina's pass defense and rush defense both rank toward the bottom half of the league, while their running backs haven't found any room through five games.