3 reasons the Carolina Panthers can beat the Cowboys in Week 4

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Taylor Moton
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Taylor Moton /
1 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold and Chuba Hubbard /

FOX. Sunday, October 3. 2-1. Panthers +4.5. 87. 123. 1 PM ET. 3-0

The Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys will meet on Sunday in a battle of division leaders. Here’s why the visitors can win.

Last Thursday the Carolina Panthers beat the Houston Texans 26-7 to move to 3-0 for the first time since their magical 2015 season.

They haven’t faced the toughest schedule up to this point. However, Sunday’s matchup with the Dallas Cowboys will be a good test for Matt Rhule’s team.

The Cowboys have started the year 2-1 after a last-second loss to the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers on opening night, and have since knocked off the Los Angeles Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles. The return of Dak Prescott has made Dallas instant favorites in the NFC East, and after three games, he has thrust his name into the early-season MVP conversation.

Through the first three contests, Prescott ranks in the top 10 in both passing yards and touchdowns, as the Cowboys’ offense ranks fifth in the league in total yards per game, and sixth in points per game.

The re-emergence of Ezekiel Elliott in 2021 has also boosted Dallas’ offense. The running back is tied for the league lead in rushing touchdowns with Carolina’s own Sam Darnold and others, and also has the eighth-most yards on the ground.

The Panthers have coasted to an undefeated record in large part due to fielding the NFL’s best defense through three weeks. But Carolina has also been guided by a reinvigorated Darnold.

His play will become even more important with Christian McCaffrey sidelined for at least the next couple of games.

Carolina enters Week 4 as one of just five teams without a loss in 2021, but because of who it has played, there are plenty of people still sleeping on Rhule’s team. A victory at AT&T Stadium on Sunday would go a long way in silencing the doubters.

The Panthers certainly have the tools to win, and here’s why.