Cowboys score against Buccaneers: Dak Prescott injured as Tampa Bay rolls over dysfunctional Dallas offense

For the second straight season, the Buccaneers spoiled the Cowboys’ prime-time opener. Despite losing two key starters to injury, Tampa Bay roared on with Dallas in the inaugural 2022 ‘Sunday Night Football’, feasting on Dak Prescott’s discomfort with new blockers and catchers. assists to claim a 19-3 victory. Tom Brady split the ball to help seal the Week 1 decision, relying on a busy Leonard Fournette to ensure Team USA, who then lost Prescott to a hand problem, were the only NFC East contender not to pick up a win on Sunday.

Here are some instant takeaways from Sunday night’s Bucs win:

Why the Buccaneers won

It’s not because they stayed healthy, that’s for sure. Even with starting left tackle Donovan Smith and No. 1 receiver Chris Godwin out early due to injury, Brady and the Bucs were very effective with the ball in their hands, making up for initial red-zone issues in passing the ball to their big men – Mike Evans and newcomer Julio Jones created space on the field – and fed Fournette, who owned the backfield with nearly 130 yards on 21 carries. Todd Bowles’ defense, meanwhile, made its way all night even without an aggressive blitz. Shaq Barrett and Devin White disrupted the pocket several times, and Antoine Winfield Jr. slipped in an errant pass from Prescott with ease. In the end, all the Bucs had to do was keep everything in front of them except let the Cowboys trip over themselves.

Why the Cowboys lost

Their offense, which started with its revamped receiving body and battered line, was as out of sync as it has ever been under Mike McCarthy and Kellen Moore. Without constant protection or trusted targets, Prescott walked in Aaron Rodgers’ Week 1 shoes, forcing or triggering or missing shots while desperate to trigger the passing game, eventually stepping out during the closing minutes because he took too many blows to the hand. Wide star CeeDee Lamb had just two catches in the final quarter, while backups like Noah Brown and Dennis Houston struggled to replace absent regulars like Michael Gallup. It was ugly all around. Defensively, Micah Parsons had his typical dominant flashes, and Donovan Wilson landed a distracted throw from Brady on the stretch, but even Trevon Diggs couldn’t slow down the Bucs’ best clearances when it mattered most.


Until Brady found Evans for a 5-yard touchdown on a fade pass, with just over three minutes left in the third, neither team had reached the end zone. That score, however, with Evans easily parting ways with Diggs while initially bringing the ball back with one hand, put Tampa Bay ahead 19-3 and effectively sealed the game on a night when Dallas was unable to respond.

Game of the game

Who knew Jones, 33, would be responsible for the Bucs’ most explosive passing game of the night? But give the longtime Falcons star credit for not only showing remaining deep speed, but also some impressive hands on his second-quarter bombshell, which gave the Bucs a 12-3 lead:

And after

The Buccaneers (1-0) hit the road in Week 2 for an NFC South clash with the Saints (1-0), who returned to edge the Falcons on Sunday. The Cowboys (0-1), meanwhile, will return home as the only NFC East team without a win and host the Bengals (0-1), who are coming off an overtime loss to the Steelers. And they may or may not do it without Prescott.

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