Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb looks to continue hot streak against porous Panthers defense

The Carolina Panthers will look to do Sunday what few defenses have been able to accomplish of late: slow down Dallas Cowboys’ prolific wideout CeeDee Lamb
Dallas Cowboys Logo. (Source: Dallas Cowboys Twitter. )
Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 11:56 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

DALLAS (6-3) at CAROLINA (1-8)

Sunday, 1 p.m. EST, Fox.

BETTING LINE: Cowboys by 10 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Dallas 6-3; Carolina 1-6-2

SERIES RECORD: Cowboys lead 10-5.

LAST MEETING: Cowboys beat Panthers 36-28 on Oct. 3, 2021, in Arlington, Texas.

LAST WEEK: Cowboys beat Giants 49-17; Panthers lost to Bears 16-13.

COWBOYS OFFENSE: OVERALL (14), RUSH (11), PASS (6), SCORING (t-6).

COWBOYS DEFENSE: OVERALL (3), RUSH (15), PASS (2), SCORING (4).

PANTHERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (30), RUSH (27), PASS (t-26), SCORING (29).

PANTHERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (7), RUSH (26), PASS (6), SCORING (30).

TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Cowboys plus-4; Panthers minus-4.

COWBOYS PLAYER TO WATCH: TE Jake Ferguson is coming on strong with 31 receptions for 164 yards and three touchdowns in the past three games. Ferguson has scored in each of the past three weeks as the Cowboys offense has shifted into high gear behind Dak Prescott. The Panthers have been decent defending the tight end this season, but that is in part because they've struggled against the opponent's run game. Prescott threw for 188 yards and four TDs in his previous game against Carolina in 2021.

PANTHERS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Bryce Young. The No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft has struggled mightily this season and has one of the league's worst QB ratings. Young has thrown for eight touchdowns and seven interceptions this season and the team is waiting for his breakout game. That has yet to come and it's unlikely it will come this week against a Dallas defense that is allowing just 166 yards passing per game, the second fewest in the league.

KEY MATCHUP: Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb vs. Carolina secondary. The prolific wideout has been on an absolute tear of late with 51 receptions for 617 yards and three touchdowns in the past four games. He’s surpassed 100 yards receiving in each of those games. He will face a Carolina secondary that has been plagued by injuries, but may get CB Jaycee Horn back this week. Horn has been out since Week 1 with a hamstring injury. Regardless of whether Horn is back, Lamb presents all sorts of problems for a defense that has allowed the third-most points in the league.

KEY INJURIES: Cowboys WR/KR KaVontae Turpin was estimated as a full participant for a Wednesday walkthrough after missing the New York game with a shoulder injury. ... Owner/general manager Jerry Jones said LB Leighton Vander Esch is likely to miss the rest of the season with a neck injury sustained Oct. 8 in San Francisco. ... The Panthers expect to get OLB Brian Burns, CB C.J. Henderson and TE Ian Thomas back from concussions after both missed last week's game. There is a chance Horn could play too. TE Hayden Hurst is not expected to play after suffering a concussion.

SERIES NOTES: Dallas is 10-3 against the Panthers in regular-season games, but has lost both playoff games against Carolina in the 1996 and 2003 seasons. Both of those Panthers wins came at Carolina.

STATS AND STUFF: The Cowboys lead the NFL with 14 games of at least 40 points since coach Mike McCarthy arrived in 2020. Three of them have come this season in his first season as the play-caller. ... McCarthy is tied with Mike Holmgren for 18th on the coaching victories list with 161. They are the only coaches since Vince Lombardi to lead Green Bay to a Super Bowl title. ... Prescott can set a franchise record with a fourth consecutive 300-yard game. ... Lamb has an NFL-leading four games with at least 10 catches this season. He needs 25 yards for his third straight 1,000-yard season. The only Dallas receiver to get to 1,000 yards faster was Michael Irvin in nine games in 1995. ... LB Micah Parsons went without a tackle for the first time in his three-year career against the Giants. He does have sacks in his past two road games and is still in the top 10 in sacks with 7 1/2. ... CB DaRon Bland matched his team-leading total of last season with his fifth interception against New York. Baltimore's Geno Stone leads the NFL with six picks entering Week 11. ... K Brandon Aubrey didn't have a field goal against the Giants, so his NFL record for consecutive makes to start a career is still at 19. With seven extra points against New York last weekend, Aubrey has now made 45 straight field goals and PATs since missing his first-ever NFL kick on an extra point in the opener. ... A loss for the Panthers would ensure their sixth straight losing season since David Tepper purchased the team in 2018. ... Panthers head coach Frank Reich will retake control of play-calling duties from offensive coordinator Thomas Brown. ... The Panthers went from averaging 294.7 yards, 20.7 first downs and 16.3 points per game in six games with Reich calling plays to 237.3 yards, 16.3 first downs and 11.3 points per game in three games with Brown calling the shots. ... Carolina has scored just two offensive touchdowns in the past 12 quarters. ... QB Bryce Young is 1-7 as a starter. ... RB Chuba Hubbard remains Carolina's go-to running back while free agent pickup Miles Sanders has been a non-factor. Sanders had only two carries in the team's loss to the Bears. ... WR Adam Thielen has cooled off over the past two games with only 11 catches for 71 yards and no touchdowns. The 33-year-old Thielen still remains on pace for a career high in receptions and yards receiving. ... The Panthers have allowed 32 sacks this season. ... OLB Frankie Luvu has 34 tackles over the past three games. ... OLB Brian Burns leads the Panthers with five sacks.

FANTASY TIP: Cowboys RB Tony Pollard has had a rather disappointing season from a fantasy football perspective, but this could be the game he finally breaks out. Pollard will face a Carolina defense that has struggled all season to stop the run. Carolina is allowing nearly 132 yards per game on the ground and has allowed 15 touchdowns rushing. Start Pollard with plenty of confidence this week.

___

AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl