Carolina Panthers: Top takeaways from win over Dallas Cowboys

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 09: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers celebrates a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 9, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 09: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers celebrates a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 9, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /
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CHARLOTTE, NC – SEPTEMBER 09: Wes Horton #96 of the Carolina Panthers sacks Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 9, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers won 16-8. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC – SEPTEMBER 09: Wes Horton #96 of the Carolina Panthers sacks Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 9, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers won 16-8. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Carolina Panthers’ pass rush shuts down Cowboys

This was a great performance for the Panthers’ defense in their first game under coordinator Eric Washington. The Panthers held the Cowboys to only 232 total yards, including 138 passing.

This was due in large part to the Panthers’ pass rush that kept Dak Prescott off balance and uncomfortable in the pocket. The defense finished the game with six sacks and 10 QB hurries.

It would be hard to pinpoint one stand out performance in this area as they had a number of players contribute, which is one of the reasons the Cowboys struggled to protect Prescott so much. Defensive tackle Kawann Short led the team with two, he was followed by Wes Horton and Mario Addison with 1.5 sacks each.

It was Addison who had the play of the game with the forced fumble in the closing minutes to end the Cowboys’ comeback attempt.

If this defensive line continues to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks like this, there is no reason to think the Carolina Panthers once again won’t have a top defense in the NFL.