After letting a potential win against the Baltimore Ravens slip through their grasp Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys will hit the road to take on the Carolina Panthers as a 2.5-point favorite in the Week 7 NFL odds.
Dallas actually played one of its better game of the season last week when handily outgaining the Ravens and in complete control of time of possession. It still didn’t matter. Baltimore clung to a 31-29 win to drop the Cowboys to 2-3 this season.
Dallas was led by a ground attack that racked up 227 yards and also received a bounce-back performance from quarterback Tony Romo, who finished 25 of 36 for 261 yards with two touchdowns and an interception against Baltimore. Perhaps even more encouraging for the Cowboys was wide receiver Dez Bryant had his first breakout game of the season with 13 catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns.
That’s the good news. The flip side is the Cowboys continue to sabotage their chances at winning by mistakes and questionable coaching decisions. In Carolina they will be further hampered by the loss of starting running back DeMarco Murray, who looked great when running 14 times for 93 yards before going down against the Ravens.
In the post-game aftermath, head coach Jason Garret and Cowboys players chose to focus on the positives. There were certainly enough encouraging signs, but this is a results-oriented league and the Cowboys have never really showed that killer instinct under Garrett.
Carolina may be an ideal opponent for the Cowboys following such a disappointing loss as they have struggled through a 1-4 start to the season. The positives working for the Panthers are they managed to play a pair of potential playoff teams close in their last two games and will have two weeks to prepare for the Cowboys following their bye.
With that said, Dallas remains easily the better team on paper and it’s getting that time of the season to either put up or shut up. Look for the Cowboys to take out some frustrations against the struggling Panthers as one of the NFL picks of Week 7.