(AP) -- With Terrell Owens watching the second half from the locker room, the Dallas Cowboys had to depend on their running game and their defense to avoid a second straight upset loss.
Tony Romo threw for 257 yards and a touchdown and the Cowboys overcame the loss of Owens to a left ankle injury in a 20-13 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Saturday night.
While Dallas (13-2) moved a step closer to clinching home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, the Cowboys were dealing with another injury to a key offensive player.
Last week it was Romo, who bruised his right thumb and was ineffective in a loss to Philadelphia.
Now it's Owens, who left in the second quarter after his left leg got caught underneath him after a catch.
The Cowboys made it 14-0 a play after Owens left, but failed to score another touchdown.