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Dallas Cowboys Season Opener Outlook

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Photo by Smiley N. Pool

The Dallas Cowboys open the NFL season against the defending Super Bowl Champions, The Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This will be an early test for the Dallas Cowboys, who are coming off a 6-10 record after losing Quarterback Dak Prescott in Game Five of the 2020 season. They have made changes to their defensive coaching staff after one season under Mike Nolan, who was a part of Mike McCarthy’s initial coaching staff when he was named head coach of the Cowboys. They brought in former Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Dan Quinn to rekindle the defense. Quinn is known for his resilient defenses during his time in Seattle, which we know as the “Legion of Boom.” The Cowboys brought in some players this off-season, rather it is from free agency or the draft like Micah Parsons, Jabril Cox, Kelvin Joseph, Malik Hooker, Damontae Kazee, Keanu Neal, and Tarell Basham. They already have a high-powered offense led by Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliot, CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper, and one of the best offensive lines in the NFL.  

The opponent the Dallas Cowboys will be facing, coming off their first Super Bowl win since 2002, is The Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They are primed to play for another championship with the work of Jason Licht bringing the majority of the team back from last season. They are led by Bruce Arians who is no stranger to success; even as an assistant coach winning two Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers. They have a deep roster with a good offensive group led by Tom Brady, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Leonard Fournette, Ronald Jones II, and Rob Gronkowski. They are coming off an 11-5 record last season which is a four-win improvement in only the season under the Arians Regime. The offense isn’t the only thing holding up the Buccaneers as their defense stifled and quiet the high-power offense of the Kansas City Chiefs in route to securing their second Championship in franchise history. 

According to the official websites of The Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Buccaneers, these are the current starters for both offense and defense: 

Dallas Cowboys  

Offense: 

QB: Dak Prescott 

RB: Ezekiel Elliot 

WR: Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup 

TE: Dalton Schultz 

LT: Tyron Smith 

LG: Connor Williams 

C: Tyler Biadasz 

RG: Zack Martin 

RT: La’el Collins 

 

Defense: 

DE: DeMarcus Lawrence 

DT: Oza Odighizuwa 

DT: Carlos Watkins 

DE: Randy Gregory 

MLB: Jaylon Smith 

SLB: Micah Parsons 

WLB: Leighton Vander Esch 

CB: Trevon Diggs 

CB: Anthony Brown 

NB: Jourdan Lewis 

SS: Donovan Wilson 

FS: Damontae Kazee 

 

Special Teams:  

K: Greg Zuerlein 

P: Bryan Anger 

LS: Jake McQuaide 

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Offense: 

QB: Tom Brady 

RB: Ronald Jones II 

WR: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin 

TE: Rob Gronkowski, OJ Howard 

LT: Donovan Smith 

LG: Ali Marpet 

C: Ryan Jensen 

RG: Alex Cappa 

RT: Tristan Wirfs 

 

Defense: 

DL: Ndamukong Suh 

NT: Vita Vea 

DL: William Gholston 

OLB: Jason Pierre-Paul 

ILB: Devin White 

ILB: Lavonte David 

OLB: Shaquil Barrett 

CB: Carlton Davis 

CB: Sean Murphy-Bunting 

S: Antoine Whitfield Jr. 

S: Jordan Whitehead 

 

Special Teams: 

K: Ryan Succop 

P: Bradley Pinion 

LS: Zach Triner 

 

The Keys to the Game: 

  • The new-look Cowboys D must stop Tom Brady and the Bucs Offense. 
  • The Dallas Cowboys are going to have to be creative on offense to pick apart the Bucs defense. 
  • The Cowboys must capitalize every time they have the ball and score. 

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