CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Panthers offensive line has major concerns this week, not the least of which is trying to keep Dallas outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware away from quarterback Cam Newton.
With three-time Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil out for the season due to a foot injury, the Panthers have been forced to reshuffle their line. Geoff Hangartner is moving from right guard to center, Byron Bell goes from right tackle to right guard and Garry Williams starts at right tackle.
The Panthers (1-4) have allowed 13 sacks this season.
This Sunday will be the first time they've faced a true 3-4 defense in the regular season, and Ware has given them problems in the past.
Panthers left tackle Jordan Gross knows what kind of an impact Ware can have on a game.
Ware has five sacks in four games against the Panthers — all Dallas victories.
"He's a great, great player," Gross said. "There are lots of great players in this league, but it's always an exciting challenge when you're going against somebody you feel is probably going to be a Hall-of-Famer."
Ware has finished with double digits in sacks in each of the last six seasons and he's well on his way to a seventh.
He has six sacks through five games.
Last year might have his been his best yet, finishing with 19 sacks.
Gross has had his personal duels with Ware, but said it wouldn't surprise him to see the Cowboys use him other side of the line and test a lesser experienced Williams at right tackle.
Gross will tie a team record Sunday with his 141st career start.
Williams has started just 11 games, all of those coming in 2010. He spent last season on injured reserve after tearing an ACL in his knee last summer.
This will be his first time facing Ware.
"It's going to be a challenge," Williams said. "He's a great player who works hard and hustles. He's quick and he plays extremely smart."