National Football League
Carolina at Dallas
When: 4:30 PM ET, Thursday, November 26, 2015
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

The Carolina Panthers are one of two undefeated teams in the NFL and Cam Newton is looking like a fine choice for MVP after a five-touchdown performance last week. The Dallas Cowboys, who host the Panthers in the annual Thanksgiving game on Thursday, are in last place in the NFC East yet still have a decent shot at winning the division.

Tony Romo’s return brought a lot of optimism to the Cowboys’ sideline, and the veteran quarterback helped the team snap a seven-game slide when he made it back from a broken collarbone last week. “I got more comfortable as the game went on,” Romo told reporters. “I think what happened was, the combination of the situational thinking throughout the game - and that got better and better as the game went on - then my footwork got better and I got tighter with everything.” The Panthers beat two NFC East opponents – Philadelphia and Washington – by a combined 39 points and bring the third-highest scoring offense in the league into a stretch of four of five on the road beginning with Dallas. "The most important number right now is the win column," Newton told reporters. "It feels great. Usually we have 24 hours to celebrate, but we have a short week and we have to get ready for Dallas.”

TV: 4:30 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Panthers -1. O/U: 45.5

ABOUT THE PANTHERS (10-0): Some of the pregame focus is likely to be on Dallas defensive end Greg Hardy, who is playing his former team for the first time since leaving in the offseason, but it is a different defensive end that Carolina is excited about this week. Charles Johnson (hamstring) is set to be activated off the injured reserve/designated for return list and figures to add to an already potent defensive front that added veteran Jared Allen in his absence. "It’s been a long time," Johnson told reporters. "I’m really amped to get back out there. I’m nervous and anxious all at the same time to go out there and do something."

ABOUT THE COWBOYS (3-7): Dallas is only two games behind the first-place New York Giants in the NFC East and even opened as the favorite in Thursday’s game before the line moved, once again displaying different expectations for the team with Romo under center. The 35-year-old is being asked to play two games in five days after sitting out for two months and will be treated carefully during the short week of practice. “He’s just got to get back to work,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett told reporters. “Heat, ice, stim. And we’ve got a game at (4:30) on Thursday. The Carolina Panthers are coming to down and they’re a damn good football team.”


1. The Cowboys have taken five straight in the series, though the teams have not met since Oct. 21, 2012.

2. Carolina WR Corey Brown (shoulder) and CB Charles Tillman (knee) are both questionable.

3. Dallas CB Morris Claiborne (hamstring) sat out last week and was not at practice on Monday.

PREDICTION: Panthers 35, Cowboys 24
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
Carolina 10-0 W10 29.9 19.1 6-0 4-0 9-0 1-0 1-0 2-0 6-0
Dallas 3-7 W1 19.0 22.8 1-4 2-3 2-1 1-6 0-2 2-2 2-6
Last Meeting
Carolina Dallas
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
10/21/12 DAL 19 CAR 14 328 112 216 312 85 227
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Carolina C. Newton 56.8 233 1 1
Dallas T. Romo 70.6 227 1 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Carolina C. Newton 6 64 10.7 0
Dallas F. Jones 15 44 2.9 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Carolina S. Smith 7 83 11.9 0
Dallas M. Austin 5 97 19.4 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Carolina B. LaFell 1
Dallas M. Austin 1
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Carolina C. Newton 56.9 2283 20 9
Dallas M. Cassel 61.7 809 4 5
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Carolina J. Stewart 190 764 4.0 4
Dallas D. McFadden 159 623 3.9 2
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Carolina G. Olsen 48 718 15.0 6
Dallas J. Witten 51 472 9.3 2
Touchdowns Player TD
Carolina C. Newton 6
Dallas T. Williams 3