EditorsNote: Added injury details on Olsen and Williams
The Carolina Panthers’ defense created a rough outing for Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott in a 16-8, season-opening victory Sunday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.
The Cowboys rarely got going offensively as the Panthers defeated Dallas for only the third time in 12 regular-season meetings.
Prescott was 19 of 29 for 170 passing yards but directed only one scoring drive.
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton completed 17 of 26 passes for 161 yards.
Newton, who gained 58 yards on 13 carries, opened the scoring on a 4-yard keeper with 8:50 remaining in the second quarter.
Carolina made it 10-0 on Graham Gano’s 27-yard field goal with three seconds left in the first half.
Panthers fullback Alex Armah scored on a 1-yard plunge on the second play of the fourth quarter, but the Panthers botched the extra point.
Ezekiel Elliott’s 4-yard run with 8:51 remaining gave the Cowboys their first points. Prescott’s two-point conversion run cut the margin in half at 16-8.
The Cowboys regained possession and moved into Carolina territory with about three minutes to play before a sack and penalty disrupted the drive. Prescott’s fourth-down pass was incomplete with 2:13 to go.
After a three-and-out, Dallas got the ball back at its 20-yard line with 1:51 left. On third down, Mario Addison stripped Prescott, and Captain Munnerlyn recovered for the Panthers.
The Cowboys didn’t take a snap in Carolina territory until the third quarter, and that drive ended up punting after stalling at the Panthers 46-yard line.
The Cowboys’ next possession resulted in Brett Maher’s missed 47-yard field goal.
Carolina drove inside the Dallas 5-yard line on its first possession, but running back Christian McCaffrey fumbled — caused by Daniel Ross — to thwart the threat.
Prescott’s final college game for Mississippi State came in Bank of America Stadium, a 2015 Belk Bowl victory against North Carolina State, but this contest wasn’t nearly as productive for him.
The Panthers lost tight end Greg Olsen to a first-half foot injury, offensive tackle Darryl Williams was carted off with 8:34 left in the game with a right knee injury — the same knee that he suffered a dislocated patella tendon and torn MCL in training camp. Dallas lost defensive end Randy Gregory to a concussion.
It was the first game for the Panthers under new owner David Tepper.
The start of the game was delayed 10 minutes following a late-afternoon storm.
—Field Level Media