Let’s face it; the Dallas Cowboys looked like a little league team last Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. I, along with just about everyone else did not see that coming by any stretch of the imagination. After a hard-fought victory over the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants in week one Dallas was a shoe-in to come out on top in week two when they went up to Seattle. Needless to say it was painful to watch what unfolded in front of our eyes.
So how does a team rebound from an awful 27-7 defeat at the hands of an underrated opponent. The answer is to get back on the horse and prove to all the naysayers that that was an anomaly.
In come the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coming off a back-and-forth defeat to the same Giants the Cowboys have already beaten. The thing everyone is focusing on is the fact that the Buccaneers had that game in hand for three quarters and put up 34 points compared to only 24 the Cowboys were able to muster against the same foe. And let’s not forget the decent amount of yards the Bucs were able to generate versus the Giants behind their talented receiving corps comprised of Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams. Add in a talented running back like Doug Martin who will see a lot of carries and you’ve got a real nightmare on your hands right? Well not so fast.
Let’s not forget about the talented team Dallas puts on the field each week. I could go all day talking about all the big names the Cowboys could utilize come Sunday, but two players in particular stand out in my mind and give Dallas the best chance to win.
Tony Romo did not have one of his statistically-dominant games we’ve become accustomed to against the Seahawks, but he wasn’t really the biggest problem on the afternoon. With that being said it’s no secret Romo loves to face the Bucs. He’s faced them three times to date and has yet to be beaten or even throw an interception. He has 11 career touchdowns against Tampa Bay and holds a 71% completion percentage to boot. Eli Manning racked up 510 passing yards against the Bucs’ secondary so Romo definitely has a chance to improve upon his totals from last week and take his record to 4-0 all-time versus the Bucs.
Who gave the Giants the most fits last Sunday out of all the Bucs’ play-makers? It was by far Vincent Jackson. He was able to put up 128 yards and a touchdown and he look uncoverable for most of the game. Well fear not Cowboys fans, Dallas has a solution to this particular problem.
Brandon Carr lined up across from Jackson regularly when he was in Kansas City and Jackson played in San Diego. After five years of seeing what Jackson can do to opposing corners Carr will most likely be called upon to mirror his every move.Another strength Carr possesses outside of familiarity is the ability to be physical at the line of scrimmage and not let receivers push him around. That is exactly what Jackson will try to do come Sunday. When he gets to have his way, Jackson is a nightmare for opposing secondaries. Just ask Terence Newman. But when a corner is able to match his physicality like Carr can, Jackson will have a much tougher afternoon. This match-up is one that I personally am looking forward to.
In the end I see this game being closer than previous meetings have been between these two teams. Dallas can come out on top if they can stay on track and play their game while limiting what Tampa Bay would like to do. If they are not able to get over the stinker they laid last week in Seattle look for another tough week.