Cowboys vs. Bucs: Dallas clinches division despite offensive woes
The Dallas Cowboys were able to lock up the NFC East crown by defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday despite a dismal performance by their offense.
The good news for the Dallas Cowboys following their 27-20 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 16 is the fact the win gave them the NFC East title and a guaranteed spot in the playoffs. The bad news is the Cowboys’ offense continued to struggle, this time against a lowly Buccaneers’ defense.
The Cowboys were able to jump out to a 14-3 lead in the first quarter due to a seven-yard run by quarterback Dak Prescott and a fumble recovery by linebacker Jaylon Smith that resulted in a 69-yard scamper for Dallas’ first defensive touchdown of the season.
Tampa Bay battled back to make the score 17-13 at halftime, with the Bucs only down by four points entering the second half. But yet another fumble gave the ball to Dallas on Tampa Bay’s own four-yard line, resulting in a Prescott to Michael Gallup touchdown pass.
Despite a late surge by the Buccaneers, the Cowboys were ultimately able to win the ballgame. With the victory, Dallas was able to secure themselves the NFC East crown and a place in the postseason.
Prescott finished the day completing 20 of his 25 passes for 161 yards and a score. Running back Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 85 yards on 18 carries. He also caught the ball five times for 24 yards.
Wide receiver Cole Beasley also had five receptions for 50 yards. And wideout Amari Cooper had a quiet day posting just four catches for 20 yards.
Defensively, linebacker Leighton Vander Esch recorded a whopping 15 combined tackles in the victory. Defensive lineman Maliek Collins, DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory all posted sacks on the day.
In what will be their final game of the regular season, the 9-6 Dallas Cowboys will travel to the Big Apple to take on the 5-10 New York Giants in Week 17. That game will be on Sunday, December 30th, at noon CT.