Every week of the NFL regular season, we will 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. To see part one of this story, click here.
Dec 17, 2011; Tampa, FL, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) takes the snap during the second quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE
Tonni Shook, Senior Writer: Every single one of us blew it with our predictions last weekend. The Dallas Cowboys never got off the bus, apparently. This weekend, the Cowboys play at home for the first time this season. The fans are going to be like savage beasts if this Cowboy team doesn’t come out firing. Tampa Bay comes to Dallas at 1-1, ready to avenge last year’s beating. The Cowboys better show up is all I have to say about that. My prediction: Dallas Cowboys 35 – Tampa Bay Bucs 21
Todd Toombs, Senior Writer: On paper, this game should easily be one of the 10 wins the Cowboys need this year. But, after last week’s complete meltdown, I honestly have no idea what kind of team is going to show up for the Cowboys on Sunday. The Buccaneers have shown they can score points – even if their defense let the Giants off the mat last week giving up over 500 yards passing to Eli Manning – a lot of that in the 4th quarter. I would normally say that Tampa Bay will struggle to run the ball against the Cowboys and be forced to put the game in the hands of Josh Freeman, who would be harassed all game by our pass rush. But, that was before Marshawn Lynch gashed us for 122 yards and Russell Wilson barely got his uniform dirty last week. And, also before we had 2 of our starting defensive ends injured and at least one of our starting safeties likely to miss this game. I would normally say that Romo would be able to abuse the Tampa Bay secondary like Manning did. But, that was before all the drops and the anemic effort in Seattle. Anyone seen Dez? Is he still on the team?
It’s our home opener, so we have that going for us. But, that does not increase my confidence about this game. The Cowboys have not necessarily done a good job of defending their home turf since “Jerry World” opened. So, this one is a coin flip in my opinion. I hope I’m wrong and the Cowboys come out with a little bit of a chip on their shoulder needing to prove to the world that last week was an aberration. But, wait. “The Calm One” is our coach so little chance of that. Cowboys squeak out a win here although I’m not exactly sure how – Cowboys 19, Buccaneers 17.
Chris Dietz, Staff Writer: Both Teams come off disappointing performances last week. I predict Dallas will not be as sloppy with the football this week. TB scored most of their points off turnovers last week. The key to this game will be running the football and I think the Cowboys will return to their gameplan from week 1 and ride DeMarco Murray to victory. The Dallas defense must stop Doug Martin and not allow him to run wild like Marshawn Lynch did last week. If the defense can force TB to throw the ball I do not believe Josh Freeman can out play Tony Romo in the passing game, allowing the Cowboys to escape with a victory. It all comes down to whether or not Jason Garrett has the testicular fortitude to stay with the running game and not abandon it early on. TB @ Dal (-7.5) – TB 23 Dal 27
Steven Phillips, Senior Writer: Tony Romo has never lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After a lackluster performance in Seattle he get’s a chance to see an opponent he hasn’t had a problem shredding throughout his career. To date he has thrown 11 touchdown passes and no interceptions in the three times he’s faced Tampa Bay. Look for the pattern to continue at home Sunday when the Bucs come to town. Tampa is coming off a late-game collapse where their secondary let Eli Manning pass for 510 yards and their defense gave up 25 points in the fourth quarter alone. Look for Romo to draw off the home crowd and pilot the Cowboys to a 2-1 record. Cowboys 27 Buccaneers 17
Artie Cappello, Senior Writer: As the week has gone on, talk about our Dallas Cowboys loss started to focus on the Cowboys defense being manhandled by Seattle and un-intimidating in general. I sadly agree with that assessment. Too bad, really, that players like Cowboys DL, Jason Hatcher, don’t think anything’s wrong. Regardless of all that, I still see a Cowboy’s win this week. (Before last weeks games, I had this game a Dallas blowout 40 – 10, not anymore) Dallas 21 -Tampa Bay 17
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