INSTANT REACTION: Carolina 16, Dallas 8

Panthers defensive end Mario Addison (97) tackles Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) in the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium.Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys offense produced too little, too late.

The Cowboys offense, which had so little time with the first-teamers on the field in the preseason, looked out of sync most of the afternoon in a 16-8 loss at Carolina on Sunday.

Dak Prescott completed 19 of 29 passes for 170 yards, mostly in the second half. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 69 yards and a touchdown, also mostly in the second half. But the Cowboys didn't score until the fourth quarter and were facing a 16-0 deficit by then.

Dallas kicker Brett Maher missed a 47-yard field-goal attempt, so he's still waiting to make his first NFL 3-pointer. That assured that the Dan Bailey fans will continue to decry the Cowboys' decision to cut the reliable kicker Dan Bailey on September 1.

Defensively, the Cowboys probably did enough to win if it hadn't been for an offense that was anemic through three quarters. Panthers QB Cam Newton passed for 161 yards and rushed for 58. He made some big plays, but Dallas held him in check for most of the day.