The Buccaneers resembled the Buccaneers. The Cowboys seemed to be heading for another season without making it to the Super Bowl, especially if Dak Prescott suffered a serious hand injury.
Tom Brady and Tampa Bay took care of business with a 19-3 win on Day 1 at AT&T Stadium. Brady went 18 of 27 for 212 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
It would have been a blast if not for Micah Parsons’ two third sacks in the red zone and errors by some Bucs that led to field goals instead of touchdowns. Tampa Bay hit the Dallas 25, 20, 8, 4 and 29 on five drives in the first half. They kicked four field goals and Ryan Succop missed a field goal.
The Bucs led 12-3 at halftime on Succop’s baskets of 44, 38, 29 and 47.
Both of Parsons’ sacks came on third plays in the red zone, one of which resulted in an elbow injury to left tackle Donovan Smith.
Prescott and the Cowboys couldn’t generate enough offense to stay with the Bucs, gaining just 243 yards.
But Prescott stayed in the game with 6:02 to go and the Cowboys lost 19-3. His throwing hand connected with the hand of Bucs rusher Shaquil Barrett when following him up.
Prescott left the game for the practice room after being examined by Dr. Dan Cooper, the team’s chief medical officer.
Prescott was 14 of 29 for 134 yards and an interception before Cooper Rush replaced him. CeeDee Lamb caught just two passes on 11 targets for 29 yards; Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 52 yards on 10 carries; and right tackle Terence Steele took four penalties.