The Carolina Panthers (1-4) are coming off their bye week and will be hosting the Dallas Cowboys (2-3) in a game that could determine the rest of their respective seasons. For the Panthers, a win here will be the motivational boost needed to right the ship and get back on track. The Cowboys will be looking to stay within striking distance of a very competitive NFC East division.
It has been over three years since these two teams last met, and Dallas will be seeing a different team than what it saw when they locked horns with each other in 2009.
However, much like the 2009 squad which had high expectations after winning the NFC South the previous season, the 2012 Panthers have been just as disappointing.
Carolina fans are hoping for a change in fortune and pull off the unthinkable: bouncing back from a lackluster first month and clinching a playoff berth. The road continues with their Week 8 meeting against the Cowboys.
In order to achieve success, the Panthers will need to achieve victory in a must-win home game. Here are the 10 keys to the game for Carolina.