Dallas Cowboys vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Wildcard Edition
What We’ve Seen from Buccaneers and Possible Defensive Game Plan Against Cowboys
Points Per Game: 21.1
Passing Yards Per Game: 203.6
Rushing Yards Per Game: 120.7
Total Yards Per Game: 324.3
Third Down Conversion Percentage: 36.9%
Red Zone Conversion Percentage: 62.5%
Buccaneers Defensive Strategy vs Cowboys
As much as the offense for the Buccaneers has struggled this season the defense has been keeping them in football games week in and week out. They are going to have their hands full Monday night with top pass rusher Shaquil Barrett out for the season, lucky for them defensive tackle and game wrecker Vita Vea is in the middle of this defensive line and can help pick up the slack. The Buccaneers much like the Cowboys will look to slow their running game and force quarterback Dak Prescott to beat them through the air.
If they can do that then look for them to start sending pressure using their linebackers and safeties overloading the box in an effort to get a free runner in Prescott’s face. Linebackers Devin White, Lavonte David, and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka look to be their best rushers and are excellent at timing their blitzes to get pressure. That along with Vea in the middle could give the Cowboys fits all game especially if they aren’t able to get starting center Tyler Biadasz back on the field.
Cowboys Offensive Strategy vs Buccaneers
From an offensive standpoint, the Cowboys are one of the best in the league averaging 27.5 points per game this season and have been able to score on pretty much anyone when the offense is clicking. This leads us to the big question are we going to see? The crisp offense that was able to run the football, make plays in the passing game and convert third downs better than anyone else in the league since Prescott’s return. Or will we see the team that came out on Sunday against the Commanders lacking focus with mental errors and poor play on the field?
One thing is for sure if they want to win this game they can’t fall behind early against Tom Brady and allow this Buccaneers’ defense to become blitz-happy. In order to do that Kellen Moore is going to need to take the pressure off Prescott and get this running game back on track, and with Tony Pollard and Ezekiel Elliott carrying the football they have a chance to do just that. If they can keep themselves in third and short positions it will force the Buccaneers to honor the running game and allow Prescott to make plays through the air.
The other thing they need to do is protect the football, they’ve given the ball away eight times in the last four games. If that trend continues then we can all go ahead and start preparing for the 2023 season.