CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — DaRon Bland tied an NFL record with his fourth pick-6 of the season, Dak Prescott threw for 189 yards and two touchdowns, and the Dallas Cowboys trounced the Carolina Panthers 33-10 Sunday for their fourth win in five games.
Bland made a diving interception of Bryce Young near the sideline early in the fourth quarter, got up and raced 31 yards for a touchdown for a 30-10 lead.
Bland tied a record shared by Philadelphia’s Eric Allen (1993), Kansas City’s Jim Kearney (1972) and Houston’s Ken Houston (1971).
Tony Pollard ran for 61 yards and a touchdown, and CeeDee Lamb found the end zone again for Dallas (7-3) in front of a predominantly pro-Cowboys crowd.
Young was 16 of 29 for 123 yards, and the No. 1 draft pick threw the third pick-6 of his rookie season and also fumbled. The Panthers (1-9) are assured their sixth straight losing season since David Tepper took over as owner in 2018.
The Cowboys sacked Young seven times and limited the Panthers to 187 yards and 13 first downs in the first game since head coach Frank Reich resumed control of play-calling duties.
The Cowboys have averaged 33.6 points over the last five games, and Prescott entered Sunday with three straight games with at least 300 yards passing and three TDs. Dallas didn't need his aerial exploits, as Pollard ran the ball well and the defense did the rest against a lackluster Carolina offense.
The final two minutes of the first half served was a microcosm of Carolina's mistake-plagued season.
After Carolina cut Dallas' lead to 10-3, Eddy Pineiro sent the ensuing kickoff out of bounds, giving the Cowboys the ball at their own 40.
Carolina's defense had two chances to get off the field, but the Panthers were twice flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct penalties resulting in 30 penalty yards and two Dallas first downs.
The first came when Amare Barno hit a sliding Prescott several yards short of the first down marker on a third down run. A few plays later, DeShawn Williams pushed Dallas' KaVontae Turpin in the back after an apparent third down stop.
Prescott made the Panthers pay with a 5-yard TD pass in the corner of the end zone to Lamb, giving Dallas a 17-3 lead heading into the locker room.
The Panthers got back into the game in the third quarter after Young converted three straight fourth downs, two of those on completions to Adam Thielen. The drive culminated in a 4-yard TD pass from Young to Tommy Tremble, only the third offensive touchdown for the Panthers in the last four games.
Dallas answered with a eight-play, 75-yard drive capped by a 21-yard touchdown burst from Pollard — his first score since Week 1 — to push the lead back to 14 early in the fourth quarter.
No injuries reported.
Cowboys: Host Washington on Thanksgiving day.
Panthers: Visit Tennessee on Sunday.
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