Buccaneers And Cowboys Clash In The Playoffs For The First Time In 40 Years

The Buccaneers are in the playoffs for the third straight year, as they welcome the Dallas Cowboys to Tampa for a prime-time Monday night matchup.

The Buccaneers and the Cowboys have met in the playoffs twice before. Both games occurred in back-to-back years in 1981 and 1982. The Cowboys beat the Buccaneers 38-0 in 1982 and 30-17 in 1983. Both of those games were played in Dallas.

A couple of other interesting stats, Tom Brady is 7-0 all-time against the Cowboys. The Cowboys last won a road playoff game in 1992, during the Jimmy Johnson era.

Cowboys Limping Into The Playoffs

The Cowboys enter the playoffs with a 12-5 record but have not played well the last month of the season, going 2-2 after starting the season 10-3.

The Cowboys are scuffling a bit. After a 26-6 loss in Washington to end the season, Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy lamented that the Cowboys are not playing their best football in January.

You want to play your best football in January to get some momentum going, possibly carrying you on a Super Bowl run.

Cowboys wide receiver Cee Dee Lamb said, “we all got to flip the switch.”

This season, Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott tied for the league lead in interceptions with fifteen.

Against a Washington team with nothing to play for in the season’s final game, Prescott was 14/37 for 128 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Not the way you want to enter the playoffs.

Running back Ezekiel Elliott has just been a shell of himself since the injury. Tony Pollard led the Cowboys in rushing this season with 1,007 yards.

Buccaneers In The Playoffs Despite Losing Record

The Buccaneers enter the playoffs as NFC South champions with an 8-9 record. In addition, the Bucs become just the fourth team in NFL history to make the playoffs with a losing record.

The Bucs join the 2010 Seattle Seahawks, the 2014 Carolina Panthers, and the 2020 Washington Football Team.

Both Seattle and Carolina won their wildcard matchups but lost in the divisional round of the playoffs.

The Buccaneers were a wildcard team in 2020 and went on the road to play a 7-9 Washington Football Team in a wildcard matchup. The Buccaneers won that game 31-23 which would help propel them to their second Super Bowl title in franchise history.

The Buccaneers are 2-0 against Dallas in the last two games that these two teams have played in the regular season. The Buccaneers won in Tampa 31-29 in the 2021 season opener. The Buccaneers beat the Cowboys 19-3 in Dallas to open the 2022 season in their most complete game, offensively and defensively this season.

Buccaneers Will Be The Healthiest They Have Been All Season

The Buccaneers have been ravaged by injuries all season, especially along the offensive line and in the secondary.

Todd Bowles and Tom Brady said this week that the game on Monday night would be the healthiest that the Buccaneers have been all season.

The big question marks for the Buccaneers will be the availability of Robert Hainsey and if Ryan Jensen will be activated to play in this game.

Hainsey was injured in the season finale against Atlanta. Jensen does not have to be activated till the 18th of January.

Jensen has missed the entire season after a leg injury in training camp. Jensen’s goal was to be back and ready for the playoffs. But it is leaning more toward Jensen not playing this week as opposed to playing in this game.

The game being played on Monday Night gives the banged-up Buccaneers another day of rest before facing the Cowboys in their wildcard matchup.

The flip side is that if there are any injuries in that Monday Night game, there will be a quick turnaround for the division-round playoff game the following week. The recovery time will be short for any injuries.

Dallas has yet to release an official injury report for the wildcard game.

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