The Dallas Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott and the No. 1 defense in the NFL stomped over Carolina quarterback Sam Darnold's legs.
The Cowboys trounced the Panthers 36-28 on Sunday, with Elliott rushing for 143 yards on 20 carries in his first triple-digit game of the season. Dak Prescott tossed four touchdown passes.
After allowing only 135 total yards in the first three games, the Cowboys (3-1) put up 245 yards on the ground, leading the league in passing yards and total yards. Tony Pollard added another 67 yards on the ground.
"They're a good defense," Elliott said after recording his highest yardage since 2018. "They bring a wide range of fronts to the table. They do a lot of various things, so you can expect them to switch things upon you. This season, they haven't seen anything like us."
Darnold had two rushing touchdowns in his first complete game as the Panthers' starter without injured star running back Christian McCaffrey, becoming the first NFL quarterback with at least five rushing touchdowns in the first four games.
"I believe it was just a matter of what the defenses wanted to do to us," Darnold said after carrying six times for 35 yards. "We're going to take advantage of it if they want to show us particular looks."
Darnold had a different narrative behind the line of scrimmage before catching fire in the passing game as the Panthers (3-1) tried to rally from a 22-point fourth-quarter deficit in their first loss.