Anderson disagrees with horse collar penalty, but they made the call
Panthers linebacker James Anderson didnt think he was guilty of a horse-collar tackle on Dallas running back Phillip Tanner in the final two minutes Sunday but the officials felt differently.
The Panthers, trailing by two points, were desperately trying to stop the Cowboys to get the ball back one more time. Anderson pulled Tanner down from behind for no gain on a second-and-10 at the Panthers 39-yard line.
However, Anderson was flagged for a horse-collar penalty, costing the Panthers 15 yards and a first down though video replays indicated the linebacker did not pull Tanner down by the neck of his jersey and shoulder pads.
They called it so thats what they saw. All we can do is play through it. I didnt feel like I did but they made the call, Anderson said.
When I looked at replay, my hand was on the front of his shoulder pads.
Panthers head coach Ron Rivera was on Andersons side regarding the penalty.
I just disagree with the call but we go from there, Rivera said.
LIMITED VIEW: Running back DeAngelo Williams wasnt heavily involved in the Panthers offense Sunday, getting just two carries for 4 yards. Williams also did not catch a pass.
Williams has eight carries for 8 yards in the Panthers past two games.
Asked about Williams lack of involvement, Rivera said, A lot of it had to do with personnel. We trade off based on personnel.
APPLYING PRESSURE: The Panthers did not sack Dallas quarterback Tony Romo and didnt get heavy pressure on him often.
Rivera said the Panthers tried different approaches to pressure Romo, who entered the game with nine interceptions. It was the first game this season the Panthers did not have a sack.
For the most part they didnt throw the ball downfield that often out of five or seven-step drops, Rivera said. Everything they did was off play action and he dumped the ball off quickly.
You saw him go to his check down several times. There are opportunities to make plays when the ball is getting dumped down. You just have to be able to break and force something to happen.
HOMECOMING: Former Panthers linebacker Dan Connor made his first trip to Bank of America Stadium with another team on Sunday.
Connor was selected by the Panthers in the third round of the 2008 draft and played with the team for four years before signing with the Cowboys in the offseason.
He was with the team last season when it started 1-5, and he knows how difficult times are for his former team.
Its tough. Theyre talented and I have so much respect for Coach Rivera and how he runs this operation, said Connor, who called Charlotte a great city to play in. Its tough to win in this league.
Theyve been close a couple of times against very good teams. Thats always tough and heartbreaking. They have the leadership in the players and the coaches to start winning and turn it around.
SITTING OUT: The Panthers inactives were quarterback Jimmy Clausen, receiver Joe Adams, cornerback Chris Gamble, safety D.J. Campbell, linebacker Jon Beason, center Thomas Austin and defensive tackle Frank Kearse.
The Cowboys inactives were punter Chris Jones, receiver Cole Beasley, running back DeMarco Murray, safety Matt Jones, linebacker Kyle Wilber, guard David Arkin and defensive tackle Sean Lissemore.
• Owners Jerry Richardson and Jerry Jones spent some time together prior to kickoff cruising the field in the Big Cats golf cart. It probably would have been fun to eavesdrop on that conversation.
• If youre keeping count, the Panthers are 9-29 since the start of the 2010 season. Thats the worst record in the league over that time period.
• Wherever the Cowboys play on the road, they draw a big crowd. By some estimates, Cowboys fans made up approximately one-third of the Bank of America crowd Sunday. There was no shortage of Cowboys jerseys on display.
• There were no significant injury issues for the Panthers after the game. The status of linebacker Jon Beason (knee) and cornerback Chris Gamble (shoulder) will be re-evaluated.
By the numbers
3 Number of offensive possessions Dallas had in the first half (excluding a kneel-down by Tony Romo on the final play of the half).
3 Number of times the Panthers offense went three and out on seven second-half possessions.
7:14 Time of possession advantage held by the Cowboys despite the Panthers having the ball for nearly 11 minutes in the second quarter.
10:10 Length of time the Cowboys used on their 18-play, 91-yard drive for a field goal and a 3-0 lead early in the second quarter.
141 Jordan Gross tied the all-time franchise record for consecutive starts, equaling the mark shared by Muhsin Muhammad and Mike Minter.
• Its just an empty feeling. You cant be down too long. You have to get up and keep moving. Thats what were going to do. Were not going to be like what if. Were going to look at this film, cut it up, take the good out of it, take the bad out of it and roll with it. Cornerback Josh Norman.
• This team has got to figure out a way to finish games. We do too good a job to fight to be in the game and we work too hard throughout the week for us not to come out here and finish these games. Its right there for us. Its all about finishing. Thats what weve got to do. Linebacker Thomas Davis.
• Its hard to drive that emotional roller coaster every week. This team needs a win. There are so many guys who are just learning how to play in the league and in their first couple of years and weve got to get more wins going to show those guys what its all about. Offensive tackle Jordan Gross.
• Honestly, you guys dont matter. Nothing against you. You just know that every week, youre great or youre terrible or youre semi-terrible or semi-great. It just goes with playing in the National Football League. Dallas quarterback Tony Romo on dealing with the media.