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5 keys for Cowboys to beat Buccaneers this Sunday

5 keys for Cowboys to beat Buccaneers this Sunday


Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Cowboys want to pull off a big upset against Tampa Bay on Opening Night. Here are five keys for Dallas if they want to succeed. 

Dallas has one of the NFL’s toughest Week 1 matchups when they travel to Tampa Bay to take on the defending Super Bowl Champions on Thursday night. If the Cowboys want to shock the league on national TV, they need a lot of things to go their way.

That doesn’t mean Dallas doesn’t have a chance to pull off the upset. The high-end talent on the Cowboys roster gives them a chance to beat anyone on the right day. Dak Prescott’s return to the field should also give the team a significant emotional lift.


5. Neutralize the Buccaneers’ ground game

Stopping Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay passing attack is going to be a monumental challenge for the Cowboys’ defense. That doesn’t mean the unit can afford to forget about Ronald Jones, Leonard Fournette and the Buccaneers ground game.

Winning the battle at the line of scrimmage should be step one in Dallas’ plan for defensive success. Tampa Bay boasts a high-quality offensive line that is more than capable of generating a strong push up front. The Cowboys need their defensive line to rise to the challenge of meeting the Buccaneers physicality up front.

If either Jones or Fournette is permitted to rack up 100 yards or more on the ground then the Cowboys have zero chance of winning this game. The same can be said if Tampa Bay finds a way to generate multiple big plays via their ground game. The Cowboys have to win the battle up front on defense to set the stage for any kind of defensive success.