CHARLOTTE – The Carolina Panthers will host the Dallas Cowboys to open their 2018 schedule, the first time since 2013 the Panthers will open at Bank of America Stadium.
Carolina will close the season with three games against the other two NFC South teams to qualify for the playoffs in 2017, wrapping up the regular season at the Saints after hosting New Orleans on Monday Night Football in Week 15 and hosting Atlanta the next week.
The Panthers' other primetime game is a trip to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers in Week 10 on Thursday Night Football. The Panthers have lost all three of their regular season games at Pittsburgh and are 0-5 in regular season home games against the Cowboys (but 2-0 against Dallas in the playoffs).
Carolina will travel just once through the first five weeks of the season – a Week 2 trip to the Falcons. The Panthers then host the Bengals and the Giants on either side of their bye in Week 4, the first week that NFL teams have byes (Week 12 is the last week).
Three of the Panthers' first four road games are against fellow 2017 playoff qualifiers – the Falcons, the Steelers and in between those a trip to the reigning Super Bowl champion Eagles in Week 7. The finale at New Orleans constitutes the longest road trip in a season that will feature a franchise-record low for miles traveled - approximately 4,000.
The opener against the Cowboys at 4:25 p.m. is the only game aside from the pair of primetime contests that doesn't have a 1 p.m. kick time, though Carolina could end up making more Sunday primetime appearances under the league's flex scheduling policy.