Welcome to Sports Mole
's live coverage of the second NFL Thanksgiving match as the Carolina Panthers
visit the Dallas Cowboys
. The Panthers have been perfect so far this season, going 10-0, and could be contenders for the Superbowl. The Cowboys, however, have gone 3-7 so far and will be looking for a win to boost their slim chances of reaching the post-season.
First, let's take a look at the team's inactive players tonight.
COWBOYS INACTIVES: Butler, Claiborne, Leary, Nzeocha, Russell, Swaim, Williams
PANTHERS INACTIVES: Aiken, Artis-Payne, Brown, Delaire, Norwood, Tillman, Wegher
The big news out of the inactives list is the return of Tony Romo
to the Cowboys line-up. He's missed the last eight weeks due to a broken collarbone but is back tonight, and he'll surely be key for the Cowboys tonight. Running back Darren McFadden also makes a return but cornerback Morris Claiborne misses out for the second successive week.
For the Panthers, wide receiver Corey Brown misses out on tonight's game, but Ted Ginn returns.
There's already been one NFL match on tonight, as the Detroit Lions downed the Philadelphia Eagles by a score of 45-14. Read the full match report by clicking here
Here's Panthers quarterback Cam Newton
getting ready for tonight's game a little while ago:
And now for the Cowboys and the return of Romo:
There's been a few videos based on Adele's 'Hello' of late, and the Panthers have got in on the act too:
The inclusion of Tony Romo really does make the season's stats slightly irrelevant. For the first time since 1978, a team with seven less wins than their oppenents are favoured, and that's purely down to the return of Romo.
The Cowboys went 0-7 with Romo out of the lineup. With him in, you guessed it, 7-0.
The Panthers will be confident though. They look set to win the NFC South, four games ahead of Atlanta Falcons with six games left. They could theoretically confirm their place in the post-season next week if results go their way.
The team's will be wearing special 'Color Rush' uniforms tonight. Cowboys going for a negative image of their usual home jersey:
Panthers win the coin toss, and defer. Cowboys will receive.
KICKOFF! Panthers kick off and the Cowboys take a knee and will start at their own 20-yard line.
A four-yard completion starts Romo's night before he flings a long pass to Dez Bryant, but he can't make the catch.
TOUCHDOWN! Carolina Panthers 7-0 Dallas Cowboys
The Panthers defence get the touchdown! Kurt Coleman
picks off Romo's pass and a mazy diagonal run takes it into the endzone. What a terrible start for Romo. That pass really was misplaced and too easy for Coleman to pick off.
Cowboys start at their 20 again, but Keuchly immediately pegs them back four. Romo passes to Witten to go 3rd & 2 but the next pass is incomplete and Panthers gain possession at their 21-yard line after the punt.
Panthers gain five yards with the first two plays before Newton finds Cotchery for 24 yards. 1st & 10 on the 49-yard line.
FIELD GOAL! Carolina Panthers 10-0 Dallas Cowboys
A running play picks up the first down but Newton sends a pass too hard for Olsen. Stewart then fails to catch and Panthers are forced into a field goal from 31 yards, which Graham Gano kicks good to stretch the lead.
Romo flips a short pass to McFadden, who then gains 20 yards before going out of bounds at the 40-yard line. Then, passes to McFadden and Whitehead bring it to 3rd & 4 before Romo finds Beasley to gain 17 and take it to the Carolina 35.
Romo hesitates before sending a long pass to Dez Bryant. It's caught near the endzone but he's out of bounds and Cowboys don't make a gain. A pass to McFadden, and a gain of 14, gets the first down as Cowboys get within 20 yards of the endzone.
Beasley catches the pass to the left and stumbles over the first-down line. Just inside the eight-yard line, McFadden takes it and gains about a yard. Romo's pass is incomplete as it goes to 3rd & Goal before Beasley's catch takes it to three yards and Cowboys take the field goal.
FIELD GOAL! Carolina Panthers 10-3 Dallas Cowboys
Bailey makes the field goal to give the Cowboys their first points of the match.
END OF 1ST QUARTER: Carolina Panthers 10-3 Dallas Cowboys
Newton fails to complete his first two passes, but then throws a delicious pass to Greg Olsen to gain 24 as the first quarter comes to a close.
Dallas challenge that catch from Olsen. It looked good, but if the decision is reversed then Panthers will have to punt from behind their own 20-yard line to start the second quarter.
It looked good, and it is good. The review confirms it and Panthers start the second quarter on their own 44-yard line.
A flag is on the play as Newton breaks three tackles to advance two yards. There's a holding call on Kalil though and Carolina have a 1st & 20. Newton throws to Bersin for a gain of 12. A delay of game brings the Panthers a five-yard penalty. Newton goes for it himself and gains 10 before the punt.
Here's Cam Olsen's catch at the end of the first quarter. How did Newton find him there?
Norton's punt goes 22 yards and the Cowboys start at their 16. Turbin gains eight and then gets the first down.
They then get a five-yard penalty for a false start, and at 3rd & 14, Romo launches it long to Bryant. It's too long though and Cowboys give up possession.
Newton makes a 11-yard rushing gain to get the first down at their own 36. Then a pass to Funchess takes the ball into the Dallas half. Stewart then makes a good gain to bring it to the 32-yard line, and the clock is stopped as a Cowboys defenseman gets treatment.
Cotchery is shoved out of bounds as he takes the first down and gains 14 yards, but there's a flag on the play. It's taken away as Carolina's offence is penalised for an illegal shift. 2nd & 17 on the 36-yard line. Newton gains 6 and then rushes 5. Gano will be come out again for a 43-yard field goal attempt.
FIELD GOAL! Carolina Panthers 13-3 Dallas Cowboys
Gano splits the post to extend Carolina's lead to 10.
TOUCHDOWN! Carolina Panthers 20-3 Dallas Cowboys
Dallas lose three yards with their first play, and then Kuechly claims Romo's pass and runs it back 32 yards for another defensive touchdown. Romo's second interception thrown today, and Panthers have taken them both back for touchdowns.
INTERCEPTION! Another Kuechly interception! Panthers regain possession immediately and Kuechly takes it in the air and advances to the 28-yard line. What is going through Tony Romo's head right now?
We've reached the two-minute warning, and the Panthers defence are simply taking over. Romo's return simply isn't going to plan. Three interceptions thrown so far - that's nowhere near good enough for a legendary quarterback like him.
Panthers advance to the 16 and have all three timeouts left with little over a minute remaining.
FIELD GOAL! Carolina Panthers 23-3 Dallas Cowboys
They get to the 3-yard line as Cotchery catches. The first pass is dropped by Olsen before Lee knocks the ball out of Dickson's hands. Third down then, and it's tipped down. A flag is thrown but the referees deem that no foul is on the play. Gano comes on and adds three more points before half time.
HALF TIME: Carolina Panthers 23-3 Dallas Cowboys
Carolina take a 20-point lead into half time, and it's all about their defence tonight. Three interceptions off Romo, two of which came back for touchdowns. Kuechly has been terrific, leading the defence.
Interception number one - Coleman gets the touchdown:
Interception number two - Kuechly picks off Romo for the second Panthers touchdown:
With the very next play it was interception number three - Kuechly again and Panthers got three more points off the drive:
There's more to come tonight after this one, when the Green Bay Packers take on the Chicago Bears in the third Thanksgiving game.
The second half is coming up very shortly here though - can the Cowboys make a comeback or is the Panthers 11th successive victory already in the bag?
RESTART! The Cowboys send the kickoff beyond the end zone and the Panthers start the second half from their own 20-yard line.
Panthers advance and gain the first down, but are then penalised for holding. It's 1st & 20 on the 22-yard line.
Newton is taken down at the 1! Crawford pegs Newton all the way back to the one-yard line and the Panthers take the punt at 4th & 40. The Cowboys will come back at the 48-yard line.
That's exactly what the Cowboys needed at the start of this second half.
Dez Bryant makes his first catch of the night and takes it for a 20 yard gain. He immediately makes his second of the night for eight more.
Romo hands it off to McFadden who can only gain one yard. It's 3rd & 3 and Escobar is tackled. The Cowboys will take the field goal here.
FIELD GOAL! Carolina Panthers 23-6 Dallas Cowboys
Bailey's kick is good from 48 yards. It's still a three score game though and the Cowboys have a lot more to do.
Stewart advances to the 27-yard line but there's a timeout on the field as defensive end Nick Hayden is injured.
The Panthers advance towards the halfway line but McClain makes the tackle to bring it to 3rd & 17 on the 39. The long pass towards Cotchery is good and Panthers rescue the first down.
Newton's pass towards Cotchery is incomplete on 3rd & 3, and Gano comes out for the field goal but the Cowboys are flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and the Panthers get the automatic first down. It's 1st & 10 on the 20.
Newton gains five but Church then makes the tackle to peg the Panthers back to 3rd & 10. Newton finds Cotchery who sidesteps a defender and gains 11. The Panthers are now closing in on another touchdown.
TOUCHDOWN! Carolina Panthers 30-6 Dallas Cowboys
Newton rushes himself and dives into the end zone from four yards to extend the lead. The Panthers are in total control.
It's even worse news for the Cowboys now, as Romo falls under the tackle from Davis. He's injured and needs treatment. We'll see whether he comes out for the fourth quarter.
The third quarter comes to a close with Carolina in complete control. They're heading towards 11-0 and seem unstoppable right now.
Cassel comes in to relieve Romo, who appeared to fall onto his injured shoulder. He doesn't get the first down though and the Cowboys take the punt.
The Panthers rush towards their own 45-yard line but are flagged for holding and it's 2nd & 19 on the 35. That doesn't matter though as Newton's long pass to Olsen is good for 31 yards. All the way up to the 36-yard line now.
FIELD GOAL! Carolina Panthers 33-6 Dallas Cowboys
Newton fails to make the first down with his next three attempts and Gano has the chance with a field goal from 50 yards which is good.
The Cowboys immediately get a five-yard penalty for a false start, before Williams catches for a gain of six yards. At 2nd & 9 Cassel rushes five yards. It's back to Williams who catches for the first down at their own 39-yard line.
The Cowboys get to the 45-yard line and McFadden rushes for another first down at 3rd & 1. It's progress for the Cowboys. Too little, too late - but progress none the less.
Cassel launches a long pass towards Bryant in the endzone, but he can't quite get it under control as it goes incomplete. The next play gains four yards as Beasley makes the catch, and it's the same player who receives it to take it over the first down and onto the 16-yard line.
TOUCHDOWN! Carolina Panthers 33-14 Dallas Cowboys
The first pass is incomplete but Cassel gains the first down. It's 1st & Goal on the 5-yard line. The initial pass goes incomplete but there's a flag on the play. It's unsportsmanlike conduct on the Panthers and the ball is advanced five yards. Cassel plays it wide to Beasley who strides into the endzone. They then make the two-point conversion.
Dallas go for the onside kick but Tolbert picks it up for the Panthers. There's a penalty for a Cowboys offside and the Panthers gain five yards.
The Panthers rush it to 3rd & 1 and then plough over the line for the first down.
Tolbert gains a few yards but is tackled behind the line on the next play as the Panthers are left with a 3rd & 9 on the 26-yard line. There's a five-yard penalty for delay of game, and Tolbert takes the short gain to keep the clock ticking over.
FIELD GOAL BLOCKED! Gano's field goal is blocked by Crawford and Lee takes the catch and runs to the 45-yard line.
Cassel goes for the long pass towards Beasley, but there's too much on it and it's now 3rd & 10 on the 35-yard line.
SACK! The Cowboys take a 10-yard penalty for holding, which takes it to 3rd & 20. Cassel is then sacked for a loss of 10 more yards.
The pass to Williams is complete and gains 15 yards. Panthers have possession and will play the clock down here.
FULL TIME: Carolina Panthers 33-14 Dallas Cowboys
Game over! Carolina Panthers stretch their record to 11-0 and really are looking like Superbowl contenders now. A dominant performance from their defence won the game, with Luke Kuechly making two interceptions and one touchdown on the way to victory.
Yet more questions will be asked by the Cowboys after tonight. Their record is now 3-8 and their slim hopes of featuring in the post-season have been all but extinguished tonight.
There's even more bad news though, with Tony Romo aggravating his injury. It seems like he returned to quickly, and it's looking unlikely that he'll feature again this season.
That's all for tonight. Thanks for joining me this evening. Keep coming back to Sports Mole for all the latest NFL news. Until next time!