Cowboys. Panthers. Monday night. New stadium. 100,000 people.
Now that's a serious audience for two teams who are coming off very disappointing losses. Dallas is already 0-1 in its new palace, and the Panthers are 0-2 and haven't won a game in calendar year 2009.
Carolina also has a history of losing to Dallas in the regular season, often under freaky circumstances, but beating the Cowboys in the playoffs.
I don't think history matters much in this one, though. I think Carolina is a slightly better team than Dallas. And, more importantly, as LB Jon Beason told me this week: "It's desperation time."
I think the Panthers will play with a bit more air of desperation than the Cowboys Monday night, although the Cowboys will be favored (and talked about a lot more on the MNF broadcast, be prepared for that, Panther fans).
But in a close, entertaining game, here's my prediction:
Carolina 30, Dallas 26.
The stats so far this season:
My record in picking Panther games: 2-0.
My preseason pick for Panthers in 2009: 7-9.
Number of NFL teams since 1990 that have qualified for the playoffs after starting 0-3: 3.
Follow Scott on Twitter.com/scott_fowler (he will be Twittering live during the Panthers-Cowboys game from the new stadium)
8 months ago