Quick Take: Cowboys survive in Carolina

It was over when ...
Cowboys running back Marion Barber raced around the right end for 11 yards to pick up a first down, allowing the Cowboys to run out the clock in the fourth quarter. The Panthers had pulled to within seven points on John Kasey's 25-yard field goal with 3:01 remaining.

Game balls
Barber finished with a season-high 110 yards and a touchdown as the Cowboys inched closer to securing home-field advantage in the playoffs. Barber was able to run past or bull over defenders, but he also displayed some smarts by staying inbounds after securing the first down on his final rushing attempt. Panthers receiver Steve Smith battled through injuries to finish with nine receptions for 137 yards and a touchdown. Smith had a key 57-yard reception on fourth-and-9 late in the fourth quarter to set up Kasey's field goal and keep Carolina in the game.

Key stat
The Panthers were only 2-of-11 on third down conversions, as the Cowboys held a 18-minute advantage in time of possession (39:00 - 21:00).

Noteworthy
The Cowboys had a number of injuries to key players, including receiver Terrell Owens, nose tackle Jay Ratliff, cornerback Terence Newman and linebacker Bradie James. Owens did not return and is scheduled to have an MRI on his high left ankle sprain on Sunday. Ratliff, Newman and James all returned.

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