Every week of the NFL regular season, we ask all of The Landry Hat writers and contributors to submit their picks and predictions for the upcoming Dallas Cowboy game. This week, we asked our experts for their predictions for the opening home game between our Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
December 17, 2011; Tampa, FL, USA; Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware (94) sacks Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
Steven Mullenax, Editor & Head Writer: It’s the classic Tale of Two Teams…both of which are the Dallas Cowboys. One team defeated the World Champion New York Giants. The other got blown out against a young up-and-coming Seattle Seahawks team whom Dallas should have beat. So the million dollar questions is: Who are the real Dallas Cowboys? Too bad there is only a two cent answer at this point: No one really knows. They appear to be a team who can beat the best of the best one night and lose to the worst of the worst the next. So, which of the two-faces will we see this Sunday? After a dismal performance in Seattle last week, expect the Cowboys to be rejuvenated to finally be playing at home. Don’t fall for the early hype…Tampa Bay has only won one game since October 16, 2011. And that was against the Carolina Panthers in Week One, whom just got decimated on Thursday Night Football by the Giants. Cowboys win big and fool us all into drinking the Kool-Aid once again, 35-10.
Alex Young, Staff Writer: The Cowboys will have the pressure on this week after a lackadaisical performance in Seattle. Tampa Bay is not a team to take lightly, they have added plenty of pieces in the off season. Vincent Jackson will be a handful for Carr and the other corners to cover and rookie running back Doug Martin out of Boise State will test the defenses speed as he is not as much of a bruiser as Marshawn Lynch was last week. Dallas should be able to pass on the Bucs seeing as Eli Manning amassed 510 yards through the air last week, a video game-esque total. The Cowboys have to make sure not to beat themselves. Tampa Bay forced Eli Into three first half interceptions last week and would have pulled out the win if not for late-game heroics by Manning. The emotion of a home opener should bode well for Dallas and provide a chance to redeem themselves after last week. Dez Bryant has to be a force and get off of the press coverages better and Rob Ryan cannot be as hesitant to blitz as he was last week. The wide outs should have a solid day and DeMarco Murray will get his carries and chances to contribute as long as Dallas doesn’t get behind early. Another game Dallas should win, but that never means it is a guarantee. The Cowboys always make these games more stressful than they should be. Cowboys win, 31-27.
Jeff Magnia, Staff Writer: If you look at the data and analyze it, the Dallas Cowboys should easily defeat the Tampa Buccaneers. Here is the thing, the Cowboys may win the war on yards but the bottom line is that the Buccaneers offense scores more often than the Cowboys. Despite the fact they won by 6 points last week against the Carolina Panthers, they did lose to the Giants and scored 34 points. Defensively, the Buccaneers do a good job stopping the run so Dallas will have to air it out as the Bucs average more yards in the air than rushing. There is a 3 point difference in the amount of points allowed, so this could be the makings of a good football game. The one thing to consider is that the Cowboys beat the New York Giants and the Giants barely won it over the Buccaneers. I am going with my gut on the score and say the Cowboys will win but it will be a close game, Cowboys 21, Buccaneers 17.
Chance Streetman, Staff Writer: Last week’s game humbled the Cowboys team and fans. They still have a ways to go to be considered an elite team. The Cowboys will play their first home game this week, and the team should be rejuvenated. Tampa Bay’s defense had no answer for the Giants passing attack as Eli Manning orchestrated a crazy 500 yd game comeback performance. Anyone else wants to continue the Manning/Romo debate? I do think Romo has a good game against the same Tampa Bay defense. Cowboys win 30-20.
Jonathan Barger, Senior Writer: Both teams look to add another W after a very disappointing loss. Tony Romo will continue his streak of excellence against the Bucs and Dez Bryant will have that coming out party we have been waiting for. Cowboys earn a W in the season home-opener; 28-17.
Michael Huff, Staff Writer: Cowboys get back on track versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with Tony Romo having a better day throwing to open receivers that actually catch the ball. The offensive line is what it is, but Tony’s ability to move around allows him to have a 3 touchdown day, with no interceptions. With the offense playing better, the defense is able to do their thing holding the Bucs to 2 touchdowns and a field goal. Final score: Cowboys 24, Bucs 17.
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