While it’s never good to overlook an opponent, the Dallas Cowboys Week 11 matchup with the Carolina Panthers isn’t one they should have much trouble pushing aside to put another “W” in the win column. The Panthers are simply one of the worst teams in the league.
Much like last week against the New York Giants, it wouldn’t be all that surprising if Dallas ends up sitting some of their key players at some point Sunday afternoon, after jumping out to a big lead of course. Despite that though, there are some intriguing matchups to watch this week and you can read about them below.
Cowboys’ LB Rashaan Evans vs. Panthers’ RB Chuba Hubbard/Miles Sanders
Leighton Vander Esch’s season-ending neck injury shines the focus on the Cowboys LB depth once again. They’ve received pretty good play from Damone Clark and Markquese Bell, but still need someone else to step up. While Rashaan Evans hasn’t made much of an impact since being signed after LVE’s initial injury, that could change moving forward as he continues to receive more playing time. The former first-round pick is coming off a 159 tackle season with the Falcons last year. Look for him to help contain the Panthers RB duo this week,.
Cowboys’ RT Terence Steele vs. Panthers’ OLB Brian Burns
Terence Steele’s struggles, particularly in pass protection, has been well documented as of late. He had a horrendous game against the Eagles a few weeks ago where he allowed multiple sacks, but had a bounce back game of sorts last week against the Giants. Despite all of that, or because of it, expect the Panthers to test him early and often, quite possibly with their best pass rusher Brian Burns. Burns is their best defensive player and one of the better young pass rushers in the entire league. Might want to keep an eye on these two.
Cowboys’ KR/PR KaVontae Turpin vs. Panthers’ special teams
After missing last week’s matchup with the New York Giants with a shoulder injury, expect KaVontae Turpin to make a big impact in this Week 11 matchup with the Carolina Panthers. To their credit, Carolina currently is the third best in DVOA (3.1%) on special teams in the entire league, however, they are also allowing 31.5 yards per kick return. And, considering how much Dallas’ defense will more than likely force the Panthers into punting the ball, No. 9 should have ample opportunities to make a game changing play in the return game.