One team’s short era appeared to come to a close Monday night, while the optimism of the other’s loyal fanbase – which has stuck around despite not seeing its team play in a Super Bowl for more than 25 years – was renewed.
Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys paid a visit to Tampa Bay and held control for most of the contest in a 31-14 playoff-opening victory.
Let’s take a closer look at what unfolded with a Cowboys vs Buccaneers recap.
Cowboys vs. Buccaneers Recap
Prescott had one of his best performances of the season, slinging four touchdowns and scampering for one more. NFL team stats saw him go 25-for-33 for 305 yards in all. Maybe most importantly, he avoided any turnovers for the first time in eight games.
As mentioned earlier, the Cowboys have had a dry spell ever since the glory days of the Triplets. Dallas hadn’t won a road playoff game in three decades before their victory over the Buccaneers. A stretch that included eight shortcomings since winning the NFC title game in San Francisco in 1993.
Last Game for Brady
As for Brady, long considered an ageless wonder, he was shut down for the most part. It was the first time he’d lost to the Cowboys in his entire career and may end up being the last game he plays for Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Of course, there will be time to speculate where he ends up, but not in our Cowboys vs Buccaneers recap.
Curiously, Cowboys kicker Brett Maher missed the mark on his first four extra-point tries, becoming the first player in league history to miss that many PATs. He finally got it together to connect on the fifth after head coach Mike McCarthy chose not to send him out for a field goal that would have been roughly the same distance.
Dallas Cowboys team stats will tell you Tony Pollard led McCarthy’s side on the ground, rushing for 77 yards on 15 carries. Dalton Schultz was Prescott’s preferred target, with seven grabs for 95 yards and a pair of scores.
Buccaneers’ Defeat Hurts Brady’s NFL MVP
While not one of the favorites, the defeat did no favors for Brady’s NFL MVP odds. Instead, many are questioning if he can still get it done at his age. When he first showed up, the Buccaneers odds of being a contender vastly improved. It seems as if the brief partnership has run its course.
He passed for 351 yards and had the second-most attempts in a playoff game in league history with 66. The only one to have more in NFL player stats was Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger.
Tampa Struggled to Find its Groove
Even after Prescott went down with an injury in the early going, the Cowboys proved to be a very strong squad. They continued the roll once he got back into the lineup but lost in their Week 18 game.
In terms of the NFL injury report, Tampa Bay wideout Russell Gage suffered a scary neck/head injury late in the contest and had to be carted off. After what happened with Buffalo’s Damar Hamlin, freak injuries like that definitely aren’t taken lightly.
What is Next on the Schedule?
Dallas will take the trip to play the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night. The game will be broadcast on FOX and kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET. The winner will move one step closer to the Super Bowl.
San Francisco made easy work of division rival Seattle in its playoff opener. Rookie quarterback Brock Purdy has been a godsend and has yet to lose a start. He’s also thrown two touchdowns in each of those outings.
The Cowboys will surely have their hands full against a team that has obviously proven to be much more formidable than the one Dallas just beat. The rivalry game should provide one of the more interesting NFL matchups of the weekend.
The NFL schedule will feature three other entertaining games, so it should be a fantastic week for betting. For now, though, that was our Cowboys vs Buccaneers recap.
Check out for our previews and game breakdowns in the coming days.