NFC Wild Card Playoffs: Dallas Cowboys vs Tampa Buccaneers Preview

QB Dak Prescott needs to have a great bounce-back game and lead the Cowboys to victory.  
Photo Courtesy: All-Pro Reels

By DaVince “Dino” Wright

Game Info
Dallas Cowboys vs Tampa Buccaneers
Monday – January 16 – 7:15 p.m.
Raymond James Stadium – Tampa, FL

Records Before the Game
Dallas Cowboys (12-5, 4-4 Away)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-9, 5-4 Home)

Over their last 5 games, the Dallas Cowboys are  3 and 2. They have limped into the playoffs especially with last week’s drumming at Washington who had nothing to lose. Dallas has dropped very winnable games to teams that played like it was their Super Bowl of some sort. Dallas lost to the Buccaneers in their first game of the season. For the Cowboys, this is their first consecutive postseason appearance since their 2006 and 2007 losses. Painful memories. Dallas is favored but has things against them on the road in Tampa. Dallas has a losing streak playing on grass than turf. They are 0-7 against Tom Brady. Well, I’m here to tell you something. Dallas will win this one easily, they will silence all of the Brady Bandits and move on to beat Philadelphia next week in Philly. But first, let’s take a closer look at this Monday Night Football playoff matchup in Tampa.

Keep an eye on…
The Cowboys defensive line starting with Micah Parsons. Parsons has this energy that only he has when he’s on the defensive line. Tampa Bay’s offensive line is makeshift at best and they know that Parsons is coming off the edge early and often. This is where the Cowboys defensive line and linebackers will get their shot at Tom Brady. The only way that this won’t happen is when Parsons is pulled off the the field. He will be the x-factor for the Cowboys for this game on the road.

Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are ready and able to get to the next level of the playoffs. Here’s the recipe for the Cowboys on Monday night. I’ve checked three (3) things on my list for a Cowboys win. First, Dallas will need to establish the run. The Buccaneers struggle with stopping the run especially in the 3rd and 4th quarters of every game. Second, Dak Prescott will need to use his feet and extend plays because he has never been a pocket passer and he’s a mobile quarterback that doesn’t use his feet enough during the game. Finally, the running game. Allow Zeke Elliott and Tony Pollard to carry the ball and get away from Prescott throwing the ball 35-40 times in this game.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers have had their butts handed to them all season long. Over their last 5 games the Buccaneers are 2-3 with losses to Atlanta, Cincinnati and San Francisco. The Buccaneers have struggled to put points on the score board because the offensive line has served up Tom Brady like a Thanksgiving turkey. Don’t get it twisted, the Buccaneers are a good team that can move on to the next level of the playoff bracket with a win. Keep an eye on wide out Mike Evans. He can change the landscape of any game because he’s physical, big and fast. The Dallas Cowboys cornerbacks are struggling to cover wide receivers in the open field.

ESPN has the Cowboys with a 67.5% chance of winning on the road and getting over the one and done playoff nightmare. Dallas will need to play tough and physical on the defensive side of the ball. I’m taking Dallas by 13! Time to put Brady out to pasture.

Final Score
Cowboys – 31
Buccaneers – 18