Carolina Panthers: Week 1 Defensive grades vs. Dallas Cowboys

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Julius Peppers and Luke Kuechly
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Julius Peppers and Luke Kuechly /
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Dallas Cowboys v Carolina Panthers
CHARLOTTE, NC – SEPTEMBER 09: Wes Horton #96 of the Carolina Panthers sacks Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 9, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers won 16-8. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Defensive Line: A+

Arguably the deepest position group on the team, new defensive coordinator Eric Washington continued to employ a rotation up front keeping guys fresh throughout the game. It worked as this unit accounted for five of the six sacks against Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.

Kawann Short added two sacks from the interior as Carolina kept constant pressure on Prescott while making it difficult for running back Ezekiel Elliott to earn any running room. The Panthers held Elliott to just 69 yards on 15 carries, although he scored the lone Dallas touchdown.

Mario Addison sealed the victory for Carolina with a strip-sack of Prescott just under the two-minute warning. Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn recovered the football and three kneel downs later the Panthers were 1-0.