The Dallas Cowboys (6-3) hit the road this weekend as they travel to Carolina to take on the Panthers (1-8).
Before the two teams square off on Sunday afternoon, here are three bold predictions for this matchup.
1) Cowboys intercept Bryce Young twice including a pick-six
Bryce Young’s first year in the NFL has not gotten off to a great start. The Panthers gave up a ton of draft capital and Pro Bowl wide receiver D.J. Moore to trade up and select Young with the number-one overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Eight games into his NFL career, the Alabama product has not yet met lofty expectations.
Young is currently 31st in the NFL (min 150 plays) in EPA/Play (-0.158) and 32nd in success rate (39.5%), via rbsdm. Young also is averaging just 5.4 Y/A, showing an inability to push the ball deep down the field. His 5.4 Y/A is the lowest among any quarterback in the league.
Another area Young has struggled in is taking care of the football. Young has three multi-interception games and has thrown seven interceptions on the season. According to Player Profiler, the 22-year-old has 15 danger plays and 13 interceptable passes on the year, showing he could easily have more than seven interceptions if some bounces went the other way.
When Young has thrown interceptions this season they have come in bunches. That theme will continue on Sunday as Dallas’ defense records two interceptions, including a pick-six, against the number-one overall pick.
2)Tony Pollard and Rico Dowdle combine for 175 rushing yards and two touchdowns
The Cowboys got their run game going last week, and look to continue that in Week 11. The Panthers’ pass defense has been okay in some respects, but their run defense has been very suspect so far this season.
Carolina has given up the most rushing touchdowns (15) in football and the seventh-most (1,187) rushing yards. They also rank last in the NFL in defensive rush EPA (0.071) and rush SR ( 45.1%), via rbsdm. Every team but the Colts has recorded over 100 rushing yards against the Panthers and six teams have gone over 130 rush yards.
If the Cowboys are going to make a run at winning the division, they need to get their running game going consistently with the ability to run the ball successfully when they need to. This is the perfect week for Dallas to work more on that, and they will succeed in doing so against a suspect Carolina run defense.
The two-headed attack of Tony Pollard and Rico Dowdle combine for 175 rushing yards and score two touchdowns as the Cowboys finally have some sustained success on the ground.
3)Peyton Hendershot finds the end zone in his return from injury
The Cowboys got some good news this week as tight end Peyton Hendershot resumed practice. The 24-year-old was a full participant every day this week and it seems like there is a good chance he will suit up and play on Sunday.
Hendershot found the end zone just twice last season and he’ll do so for the first time in 2023 on Sunday. Dallas will run a play near the goal line for the 6’4 tight end and he will deliver by making a nice touchdown catch in the corner of the end zone.