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Buccaneers-Cowboys Breakdown: A High-Profile Week 1 Rematch

Tom Brady Cowboys at Buccaneers 2021
Sep 9, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws the ball against the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay at Dallas, this is a rematch from Week 1 of the 2021 season. This will be a great one, with all the talk around Dallas, its head coach, and their deficiencies along the offensive line, and then Todd Bowles taking over in Tampa, and the talk around Tom Brady.

The Hand-Picked Successor

Todd Bowles, we say new head coach, but he was there as defensive coordinator. He was [former coach] Bruce Arians’ right-hand man, and was hand-selected by [GM] Jason Licht and Bruce to be the leader of that team. Todd’s a great defensive coach, great leader, and he’s going to do a great job in that role.

Don’t Doubt Brady

A lot of talk about the time Tom Brady missed in training camp. Whatever. He could’ve missed the entire camp in my opinion. Watching him come out against the Colts in the preseason, it looked like he was prepared and locked in for the opening game against the Cowboys. He looked as sharp as ever, orchestrating everything, just like he never missed a beat.

Can the Line Hold Up?

The biggest question mark in Tampa: Its offensive line. They lost a guy to retirement last year, a guy to free agency, and then they lost Ryan Jensen to an injury. The middle of that line, as a defensive coach trying to get after Brady, we all try to disrupt him by getting him off the spot with internal pressure to the A and B gap. So that offensive line is going to be tested by a really good Cowboy defense.

Dallas Has O-Line Questions, Too

Dallas is losing Tyron Smith at left tackle, and moving rookie first-rounder Tyler Smith from guard to tackle, so the O-Line there is going to be a question mark. We’ll see how it holds up against that great Tampa Bay defensive front.

Quinn Leading a Big-Name Defense

Defensively, coordinator Dan Quinn will do a great job in Dallas. A couple years ago they really struggled on that side of the ball. Quinn comes in and makes them a formidable unit in a short amount of time.

They lose Randy Gregory but still have DeMarcus Lawrence. There’s Micah Parsons, who has a great chance to be the Defensive Player of the Year, he is a pure game-wrecker. They’ll use him all over the place. And Trevon Diggs, he had 11 interceptions last year, are you kidding me?