The biggest match-up in this game was the battle between Carolina Panthers' cornerback Josh Norman and Dallas Cowboys' wide receiver Dez Bryant. This would be a match-up between a player who had established a name for himself, Bryant, and a rising star, Norman. Well on Thanksgiving, Norman established himself as a top shutdown cornerback, if he hadn't already.
Pro Football Focus had Norman thrown at six times, giving up only two receptions for 16 yards and one of those receptions was by Cole Beasley. Meanwhile, Bryant had the other reception but he finished the day with only two receptions on six targets for 28 yards, which is well below what is expected from him.
This game is just another great game in an exceptional season for Norman. Over the first 11 games, opposing quarterbacks have a QB rating of only 38.4 when throwing in his direction, which is the best in the league. He also has given up one receiving touchdown, which happened in the first week of the season.
It is hard to imagine how Luke Kuechly could play better and he somehow finds a way. For the first time in an impressive career, Kuechly intercepted a pass by Tony Romo and returned it for his first ever touchdown. Then on the very next play, he intercepted another pass for his first ever two interception game.
The Panthers' middle linebacker missed three games earlier this year due to a concussion but that has not slowed him down a bit. Even with the missed games, he is seventh in the NFL in solo tackles among inside linebackers, first in interceptions, and second in passes defended.
He has actually played so well that he is on pace to earn the highest rating ever given by Pro Football Focus for linebackers. There is no question that Kuechly is earning that contract extension he got prior to the 2015 season.
For the second straight week, Charles Tillman had to sit out due to an injury. This injury could be a little more serious than first thought.
According to ESPN's Field Yates, the Panthers worked out Cortland Finnegan, Bradley Fletcher and Robert McClain the day after their victory in Dallas. McClain was a seventh round pick of the Panthers in 2010 and spent the first two years of his career in Carolina.
If Tillman is out for an extended period of time, the depth at cornerback is sure to suffer. Bene Benwikere has done a good job filling in for Tillman but Colin Jones has struggled replacing Benwikere at nickelback. This is why the Panthers could be looking at other options at cornerback. Whether or not the team signs one of the cornerbacks, could be an indicator on the severity of Tillman's injury.
The emergence of Devin Funchess was thought to cut into the playing time of Philly Brown but another wide receiver has also emerged the past two weeks which could push Brown even further down. The past two games Jerricho Cotchery has had a prominent role in this offense with 12 targets, nine receptions and 130 receiving yards.
The Panthers wide receiver position has shaken out now to give this offense everything they need to be successful. They have size on the outside with Funchess, size on the inside with Greg Olsen, speed with Ted Ginn Jr. and a possession wide receiver in Cotchery.
While, Brown still has a role with this offense, it is hard to imagine him being a big part of it when he returns from injury.