5 key observations from Sam Darnold’s performance at the Cowboys

(Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) Sam Darnold
(Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) Sam Darnold /
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Sam Darnold
(Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /

3rd quarter mistake from Sam Darnold proves costly

Things were getting away from the Carolina Panthers in the third quarter. Stop me if you’ve heard that one before.

The Dallas Cowboys had their way in the run game and caused significant pressure on Sam Darnold throughout, something that led the signal-caller into a crucial mistake that all but ended the contest.

Darnold took the wrong decision with the pocket collapsing around him, unaware of Trevon Diggs’ presence when targeting Robby Anderson for his second interception of the season. He also had Terrace Marshall Jr. wide open on a post route.

This was swiftly followed by another pick – again into the hands of Diggs – on a pass attempt to D.J. Moore.

It’s hard to be mad at Darnold in some respects.

He clearly knows there is going to be little or no time in the pocket to go through his reads, which simply cannot happen for much longer if the Panthers want to really get themselves a postseason berth at the end of the campaign.

However, these bad decisions are what played a role in his ultimate downfall in New York. Darnold has to do better, but overall he is still on the right track.