There is certainly going to be playoff implications on the line and a cutthroat atmosphere surrounding this contest, as players on both sides know just how dire their situations are.
Predicting the winner of this one is tough, but we’ll do our best, and we will also provide info on where to watch the game, the latest injury report, some players to watch and much more in the preview below.
When: Sunday, Oct. 21 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, S.C.
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket
Listen: Online at NFL Audio Pass
Betting Line: Cowboys -2, Over/Under 45.5
What’s at Stake?
Both teams are desperate for a win here to revive their fast-fading playoff chances. At 1-4, Carolina simply cannot afford another loss—especially not after having a bye week to get healthy and plan for the Cowboys.
Dallas is coming off an emotional letdown by narrowly being defeated by the Baltimore Ravens, dropping to 2-3 in the hyper-competitive NFC East. They have to emerge from this crucial road game at .500 or risk missing the postseason for the third straight year.
Injury Report (via CBSSports.com)
RB DeMarco Murray—Foot—DBT
DB Morris Claiborne—Knee—QST
DL Sean Lissemore—Ankle—Left Week 6
DL Marcus Spears—Knee—Missed Week 6
LB Anthony Spencer—Shoulder—Missed Week 6
LB Jon Beason—Knee—QST
DB Chris Gamble—Shoulder—QST
Cowboys Player to Watch: Felix Jones
With DeMarco Murray unlikely to suit up—and likely ineffective if he does due to a foot sprain suffered in Week 6—Jones should get a majority of the touches out of the Dallas backfield.
Jones did well against a tough Ravens defense last Sunday, going off for 92 yards and a TD on 18 carries. There is a good chance he can repeat that success against a pitiful Panthers defense and help the Cowboys earn a victory.
Panthers Player to Watch: Cam Newton
Newton is suffering through a terrible sophomore slump, and many fans are hoping he can break out of it following the Panthers' bye week.
The signal-caller has connected on just 80 of 136 pass attempts for 1,154 yards and four TDs, while tossing five interceptions and coughing up three fumbles in five games.
Those simply aren’t acceptable numbers, especially since the stats from his Rookie of the Year campaign were looking significantly better at this time last year.
Newton is up against a tough Dallas secondary this week, so he needs to figure out a way to combine his powerful running ability with his cannon arm to get a W.
Prediction: Panthers 21, Cowboys 20
The Panthers get a slight edge here, as they have the home-field advantage and their backs are up against the wall.
Which team will win?
This team is simply better than its 1-4 record indicates, although the defense needs to improve significantly from here on out.
Because of the bye week, we have faith that coach Ron Rivera (as poor of a coach in the league as there is, but still) has been able to get some of his personnel prepared to stop the Cowboys offense.
It’s going to be extremely close, but the Panthers move to 2-4 after this one.