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What 2 Watch 4 in Buccaneers vs. Cowboys Season Opener

What 2 Watch 4 in Buccaneers vs. Cowboys Season Opener



It should come as no surprise that the NFL schedule makers pitted the defending Super Bowl champions against the traditional draw of the franchise known as “America’s Team” for its 2021 regular-season lid-lifter. After a preseason in which the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys combined for a dismal 1-6 record, and held back their star players with limited — if any — action, Thursday night will finally unveil what kind of engine both truly have under the hood to begin the 2021 campaign.

The matchup offers intrigue in droves, from the return of Dak Prescott from injury to Tom Brady embarking upon his age-44 season.

Here are four things to watch Thursday night when the Buccaneers host the Cowboys:


1) Dak is back. How will Prescott look in his first game action? He sat the entire preseason with a shoulder strain almost exactly 11 months since suffering a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle against the Giants last Oct. 11. Does he move with the appearance of comfort and confidence? Does he run without any sign of hesitation? Will the Cowboys’ offensive game plan ease his return, at least early in the game, with a lot of short throws on quick reads that would help keep him upright and untouched? It’s not a formula for the season – unbridled Dak is the best Dak – but it might be better for his re-introduction to NFL game speed, especially against the Bucs’ stellar defensive front seven.

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