With the departure of Dez Bryant, the Cowboys don’t have a No. 1 receiver, and they’re okay with that approach. Dak Prescott played better and was more productive his rookie season when he wasn’t targeting anyone specifically.
Of course, what will make the offence go for the Cowboys is Ezekiel Elliot. If he can run the ball behind the massive Dallas offensive line, the Cowboys will be okay. But the line has had some turnover the last couple years along with some injury issues.
The Panthers had the third best run defence in the NFL last season. While their pass defence wasn’t great (18th; 229 yards/game allowed), it wasn’t bad. This season, the front seven should be just as good. But at the same time, the secondary is mediocre.
But the Panthers Cam Newton and Norv Turner’s new offence will put enough points on the board.
So—who’s going to win?
This one is likely going to turn into a slugfest. Both teams have a good defence and talented but flawed offences. The winner could very well be the one team that catches a big break. Don’t bank on the Panthers being that team.
They can add weapons and hire a ‘quarterback whisperer’ as their new offensive coordinator, but that will not fix their biggest problem—Cam Newton. He’s focused on being the reason the Panthers win; not making sure that they do. He is more likely to keep the ball and try to make a play himself rather than let someone else.
He’ll make the mistake that opens the door for Dallas. Take the Cowboys to win (+123) and take the points (+3). But go with the under (44) because this is going to be a low-scoring game.