Cowboys Search for First Win over Brady


Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady against Dallas Cowboys | Image by Cowboys Wire/USA Today Sports

Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is a perfect 7-0 in his career against the Dallas Cowboys as both a member of the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the Cowboys have a chance to change that on Monday night.

The Cowboys will face Brady and the Buccaneers on Monday Night Football at 7:15 pm CT on ESPN. The winner will match up against the San Francisco 49ers in the next round.

Dallas did not see Brady often during his 19 years in New England, only playing five times, but this will be the third time they have met in his three years in Tampa and the second time this season.

“I’ve played them quite a bit over the years and I have a lot of respect for the organization, their history, a lot of great players. But all of it’s about three hours on Monday night,” Brady told the media about facing the Cowboys.

Now, Brady is older and only a shadow of the player he once was. He is a more cerebral player who can still shine when those around him play well, but some of his abilities have diminished.

Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones knows that Brady is just part of the equation.

“Brady is, you say, ‘well, in this game, quarterback, … [and] he’s quarterbacked teams that you haven’t beaten with him quarterbacking,’” Jones told Dallas’s 105.3 the Fan last week.

“But, boy, we’re playing Tampa Bay, the team. And it’s conceivable that we could make Brady not play well and get our tails beat by the rest of the team. And I’m not trying to be cute. But we’ve got to go play the entire team,” Jones said.

Dallas has also struggled in the playoffs in recent seasons. The Cowboys are 3-4 in the playoffs since 2014 and have just four playoff wins since 1996. They were eliminated in the first round by the 49ers last season and have not been to the NFC Championship in 27 years.

The team is also winless on the road in playoff games over the last 30 years and will likely play all its playoff games on the road this season.

But Dallas has improved on defense, leading the league in takeaways and implementing a deeper, more talented group of defensive linemen. Will that lead to Dallas’s first victory over Brady on Monday Night Football?

November 16, 2003: Patriots 12, Cowboys 0

The first time the Cowboys saw Brady in his NFL career was headlined as a matchup between a master (Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells) and one of his pupils (New England’s Bill Belichick). The New England defense ended up stealing the show in a messy game.

The only scores of the game were two Adam Vinatieri field goals and a late two-yard touchdown run by New England’s Antowain Smith. Both teams were held under 300 total yards of offense, but the Patriots caused three Dallas turnovers in the second half.

October 14, 2007: Patriots 48, Cowboys 27

The second time Dallas faced Brady was the year the Patriots finished the regular season a perfect 16-0 and only lost in the Super Bowl to the New York Giants.

Both teams entered the game 5-0, which was the Cowboys’ best start since 1983, but Brady torched the Dallas defense for 373 yards and a career-high five touchdown passes.

Dallas scored the most points New England had given up in a game until that point and even had the Patriots trailing in the second half for the first time all season. However, the Patriots outscored the Cowboys 27-10 in the second half to secure a convincing win.

October 16, 2011: Patriots 20, Cowboys 16

Tony Romo outplayed Tom Brady statistically, but Brady made the plays when his team needed them the most.

Trailing by three points with just over two minutes left, the Patriots drove 80 yards down the field, and Brady found tight end Aaron Hernandez for an 8-yard touchdown with two seconds left in the game to steal a victory.

October 11, 2015: Patriots 30, Cowboys 6

Dallas came into this game shorthanded, with Tony Romo done for the year with a broken collarbone. Brandon Weeden started in his place and threw for 187 yards with an interception.

The Dallas defense sacked Brady five times — the most since Buffalo sacked him seven times in 2001, but New England rolled to a win.

November 24, 2019: Patriots 13, Cowboys 9

The Cowboys entered the 2019 game against the Patriots with the NFL’s best offense, yet they were held without an offensive touchdown and only scored nine points.

Trying to mount a later comeback, quarterback Dak Prescott appeared to find wide receiver Amari Cooper for a crucial conversion on 4th-and-11. Repay review later overturned the ruling on the field, and the Cowboys turned the ball over on downs.

September 9, 2021: Buccaneers 31, Cowboys 29

Dallas went blow for blow with the defending Super Bowl champions in the 2021 season-opener. Prescott shined with 403 passing yards and three touchdowns as Dallas outgained Tampa by 20 yards.

With 5:04 remaining, Tampa receiver Chris Godwin fumbled, and the Cowboys capitalized on a 48-yard field goal to take the lead with 1:24 left in the game.

Brady then led his team down the field, and Ryan Succop converted a 36-yard field goal to give Tampa the win.

September 11, 2022: Buccaneers 19, Cowboys 3

The Buccaneers used their defense and rushing attack to beat Dallas, outgaining the Cowboys 152-71 on the ground. The Tampa defense was in the backfield all night as the Cowboys’ offensive line struggled to open up holes for running backs and to protect Dak Prescott in the pocket.

Prescott broke his thumb late in the game and missed several weeks to start the season. Brady had just 212 passing yards with a touchdown and an interception.

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