Cowboys Points Against the Pirates: Dak Prescott Injured As Tampa Bay Beats Dysfunctional Dallas Offense

For the second consecutive season, the Buccaneers spoiled the prime-time cowboy opening. Despite losing a pair of key players to injury, Tampa Bay rippled with Dallas in the inaugural 2022 edition of “Sunday Night Football,” enjoying the unease of Dak Prescott with new blockers and passing gains to score a 19-3 win. Tom Brady spread the ball to help finish the week one decision, leaning on a crowded Leonard Fortnite to secure a defeat for Team America, who later lost Prescott to a hand problem that required surgery and kept him out for several weeks.

Here are some instant takeaways from the Sunday Night Bucs win:

Why did the pirates win?

It wasn’t because they stayed healthy, that’s for sure. Even with left tackle Donovan Smith and receiver No. 1 Chris Goodwin going off early due to injury, Brady and Bucks were very effective with the ball in their hands, compensating for initial red-zone problems by distributing the ball to their big men – both Mike Evans and the incoming New Julio Jones created space for the down—and they fed Fournette, who owned the backfield by about 130 yards on 21 gigs. Meanwhile, Todd Bowles’ defense was working its way through the night even without a heavy attack. Chuck Barrett and Devin White obstructed the pocket multiple times, and Antoine Winfield Jr. made Prescott’s errant pass with ease. In the end, all the Bucs had to do was keep everything ahead of them, all but let the Cowboys stumble upon themselves.

Why did the Cowboys lose

Their insult, which debuted the Mixed Receiving Corps and the dashed line, was as out of sync as it had ever been under Mike McCarthy and Kellen Moore. Without consistent protection or reliable goals, Prescott walked in the shoes of Aaron Rodgers’ first week, making forced, foul or foul throws while desperate to spark a passing game, eventually leaving during the waning minutes with an injury that would sideline him for weeks. The CeeDee Lamb star only made two attempts to enter the final quarter, while reserves like Noah Brown and Dennis Houston struggled to replace absent regular players like Michael Gallup. It was ugly all over. Defensively, Micah Parsons had typical dominant flashes, and Donovan Wilson parried a mindless throw from Brady down the extension, but even Travon Diggs couldn’t slow down Bucks’ wide strokes when it mattered most.

turning point

Until Brady found Evans for a 5 yard drop on a faint pass, with just over three minutes left in the third, neither team made it to the end zone. This result, however, with Evans easily detaching from Diggs as he initially rolled the ball with one hand put Tampa Bay ahead 19-3 and effectively closed out the game on a night Dallas wasn’t fit to respond.

play the game

Who knew that 33-year-old Jones would be responsible for the most explosive swipe play of the night? But give the longtime Hawks star credit for displaying not just deep speed but great hands on his bombshell in the second quarter, which made up a 12-3 lead.

What’s Next

The Buccaneers (1-0) will hit the road in Week 2 of the NFC Southern game with the Saints (1-0), who returned to smash the Hawks on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Cowboys (0-1) will return home as the only NFC East team without a victory and host the Bengals (0-1), who come out of an overtime loss to the Steelers. They will face a desperate Bengals without Prescott behind the center.