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The 2-3 Dallas Cowboys will travel to Charlotte this week having lost a heart breaker to the Ravens and riding a two game losing streak. In addition, their best RB DeMarco Murray will likely miss the game due to an ankle injury. So should the Panthers feel good about this match up?
Though the Cowboys appear poised to continue their tumble that would be a mistaken assumption. The Panthers have lost three straight to the 'Boys and they seem to have the type of game that plays to the Panthers weaknesses.
#1: They run the ball well
Game Balls: Dallas Cowboys Vs. Baltimore Ravens - Blogging The Boys
Improvements in the guard play had a lot to do with the success of the running game. Nate Livings looked dominating and powerful nearly the entire game. He managed to keep his balance and didn't get caught reaching or overextending. Mackenzy Bernadeau played his best game as a Dallas Cowboy. This is a big and powerful offensive line that is beginning to find their identity. If the Cowboys can block like this more often, then they will be a lot more dangerous offensively.
So we get to line up on the guy we used to call the 'turnstile' in Bernadeau. I think it might be pretty telling if we fail to get pressure up the middle against them. I'm really hate seeing players that we jettison then look really good somewhere else. I'm not predicting that for MacBern but he is still starting in Dallas.
The only saving grace here is DeMarco Murray will likely miss the game. That means Felix Jones will most likely get the majority of carries and though he has some speed he is coming off of injury himself. He did look good this past Sunday so maybe he is finally 100%.
#2: They have a big, physical WR:
Dez had a great game statistically (13 catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns) and he was involved in the game from the beginning to the end. Bryant is such a difficult receiver to bring down and his pure strength allowed him to break tackles and make plays that kept the Cowboys in the game.
The fade pattern and back shoulder throw to Bryant are nearly impossible to stop, unless Dez drops it. Unfortunately for Bryant and the Cowboys, that is the play that people will talk about and remember.
#3: They can rush the passer
DeMarcus Ware...do I really need to say much more here? He's tied for 4th in sacks with 6.0 and is showing no signs of slowing down.
I'm not exactly confident that the Panthers used the bye week to better prepare for the Cowboys.