Turn out the lights, the party's over.
Former Dallas Cowboy Dandy Don Meredith used to sing that when a "Monday Night Football" game got out of reach. And it reached that point Monday night late in the fourth quarter, when the Panthers went down.
The Panthers (0-3) still haven't won a game in calendar year 2009.
Down 13-7 deep in the fourth quarter but still in the game, Delhomme threw an interception that was returned 27 yards for a TD by Terence Newman. After a Dallas two-point conversion, that was that.
Blame this loss mostly on Carolina's offense. They were awful in the second half, not getting their first first down until 5:45 remained in the fourth quarter. Delhomme tried to go deep on the next play to Steve Smith, but Smith was double-covered and the pass fell incomplete.
On the following play, Delhomme threw a short 5-6 yard pass in Smith's direction. But Smith was outside, Newman was inside, and the ball was inside, too. Smith later took full blame for that pickoff, saying he should have crossed in front of Newman on the called slant route.
Instead, Newman ran the ball into the end zone as the stadium exploded in celebration.
Carolina lost the ball one last time with a minute to go when Delhomme was sacked and fumbled, adding one last insult to the Panthers' injury. The Panthers, who led 7-0 at halftime, crumbled in the second half.
Final score: Dallas 21, Carolina 7.
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