The Panthers are 3-0 for the first time since 2015 — the same year Cam Newton and company smiled and celebrated their way to Carolina’s second Super Bowl appearance in franchise history.
But bettors aren’t drinking the Kool-Aid just yet.
The Panthers, as of Tuesday morning, are five-point underdogs against the Cowboys (2-1) ahead of their matchup at Dallas on Sunday.
This information comes fresh after a rejuvenated Cowboys team rolled through the Eagles, 41-21, on Monday night in front of a nationally televised audience.
As of Tuesday at 10 a.m.:
When they enter AT&T Stadium, the Panthers will look a little different than they did in the first three weeks of the NFL season.
On defense, they’ll be down two playmakers at defensive back — Jaycee Horn (broken bones in his right foot) and Juston Burris (groin injury) — and up one cornerback in CJ Henderson, who the team traded for Monday.
And on offense, they’ll be missing sure-handed tight end Dan Arnold, who was lost in the Henderson trade, and they won’t have star running back Christian McCaffrey, who exited Thursday’s game with a hamstring injury. (McCaffrey, per previous reporting from The Observer, is not expected to be placed on the team’s injured reserve.)
Sunday will mark the second time in as many weeks the Panthers will be in Texas. Carolina handled the Houston Texans, 24-9, on Thursday night, doing so by the brawn of their defensive line and the leadership of Sam Darnold.
That’ll all have to come together again on Sunday in Dallas — and perhaps it could.
The Cowboys, despite the work by Dak Prescott on Monday (21-of-26 passing for 238 yards and three touchdowns), still allowed their quarterback to be sacked four times. And the Cowboys’ defense gave up 326 yards passing to quarterback Jalen Hurts.