How the Cowboys can finally beat Tom Brady in Week 1

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tom Brady. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tom Brady. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports /

There are a few things guaranteed in life. Some of those things are death, taxes, and Tom Brady beating the Dallas Cowboys. Unfortunately, these things reign to be true to this day. However, now the ‘Boys have one more shot to take down the GOAT, and it comes in Week 1 of the 2022 season.

The history between Tom Brady and the Dallas Cowboys

Since coming into the NFL in 2000, the Cowboys have faced Brady six times and lost each time. In 2003, Brady led the New England Patriots to a 12-0 win against the Quincy Carter-led Cowboys. TB12 wasn’t necessarily impressive in that game, connecting on less than half of his passes, but three costly turnovers by the ‘Boys kept them out of it.

In 2007, the game had much more scoring involved, as the Patriots routed America’s Team 48-27. This was a battle of the undefeated squads heading into Week 6, but the defense just got completely rolled over by Brady, who threw for five touchdowns. Dallas led at halftime, but the Pats came out firing on all cylinders and took over afterward.

A 2011 bout between the Cowboys and Patriots came down to the wire. With just under three minutes remaining, America’s team led 16-13, until Tom Terrific led a comeback and took a 20-16 lead with less than 30 seconds left. Brady didn’t have a great game, but they gave him too much time to work with in the end.

In 2015, the Patriots simply wiped the floor with the Cowboys. To the team’s credit, they had neither Tony Romo nor Dez Bryant due to injuries, but regardless, the defense could do nothing to stop Brady and the offense.

In one of the most frustrating to watch games in recent memory, the Cowboys dropped another close one to Brady and the Pats in 2019 in a tough weather game in Foxborough, 13-9. The Cowboys were an overturned fourth-down conversion by Amari Cooper away from possibly winning this game. Unfortunately, the wind didn’t blow that way that day.

The most recent meeting came in Week 1 of last season, and I think we remember how that one went. The now Tom Brady-led Buccaneers hosted the ‘Boys in the opener last season, and it came down to the final seconds. Dak Prescott had an outstanding game for America’s Team, arguably out-performing Brady, who also had a great game. Yet again, the Cowboys just gave TB12 way too much time at the end.

How can the Cowboys beat Tom Brady for the first time in team history?

Now, the Cowboys get to face Brady and the Bucs in Week 1 for the second-straight season. This time, however, the ‘Boys are hosting. Prescott is 29-14 at home in the regular season. No. 4 is also 5-1 in home openers. The Cowboys should very much have a home-field advantage on their side, which will benefit them more than people think.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Cowboys certainly have some firepower to compete with the Bucs. The Bucs’ defense looks very stout on paper, so that is a worry, but the secondary isn’t as impressive as the front seven. The Bucs will more than likely look to blitz almost all game, so if the Cowboys can keep Ezekiel Elliott, one of the league’s best pass-blocking backs, in the game as a blocker, that should be an immense help for Prescott.

Playing with two backs on the field in Week 1 should be the strategy for the Cowboys. Having Zeke to block, almost in a fullback type of role, and Pollard to still act as the running back could make things less stressful for No. 4, especially if the line is struggling due to injuries. Tampa Bay’s secondary has its holes, so the offense will be able to make things work in the passing game, and that’s a huge plus.

On defense, all the ‘Boys need to do is not allow the game to get out of hand. With DeMarcus Lawrence fully healthy and young players looking great in the preseason, this team could fly all over the field. Brady will always find a way to put up points, but limiting their receivers to the short game and not allowing big gains could keep this game close.

The big key here is that the defense can be elite. The defense has a better chance of being elite due to one guy: Micah Parsons. If Parsons can wreak havoc in the backfield and keep running backs to short gains, that can be a real game-changer. Tampa Bay has some great players on defense, but they don’t have a Parsons.

To wrap it all up, the defense needs to step up in this game. The Cowboys’ offense is not as good as last year on paper, so the defense will need to force some turnovers and keep this game close. With the injuries on the offensive line and receiver room for the Bucs, it should be a lot easier to get this done. This may be the season that the Cowboys take down TB12.