Cowboys vs Buccaneers Wild Card Weekend: history, key players, projection

Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images)
(Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images) /

Cowboys vs Buccaneers: “Under the Radar” Players

Dallas Cowboys: DaRon Bland, CB

Dallas desperately needs the help of Daron Bland back in their secondary. They have struggled the last two weeks on the back end with long completion. Bland has been a breakout star for the rookie and will need to step up Monday night.

The Bucs have Mike Evans who has come alive down the stretch. He has his 9th 1,000-yard receiving season and is hitting stride with Brady at the right time. Across from Evans just happens to be another 1,000-yard receiver in Chris Godwin. Trevon Diggs can’t guard both of them.

Bland will need to be a complementary cornerback to Diggs this week and find some more magic in his special rookie season to slow down the Bucs’ passing attack. Although he sustained a chest injury last weekend, all signs are pointing to Bland to be good to go for this playoff matchup.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Carlton Davis, CB

Tampa Bay knows CeeDee Lamb is the guy that makes the Dallas passing game go. In 2021 he had 7 catches for 104 yards and a touchdown against them with a healthy Prescott at QB. The Bucs pass defense will key on Lamb and look to make someone else beat them.

Carlton Davis has been out the last two weeks with a shoulder injury. He has not only missed the games but significant practice time as well. That said, it appears he is going to be ready to play Monday and will be the Bucs’ No. 1 cornerback taking on the task of slowing down Lamb.

Across from Davis is Jamel Dean who has two interceptions and eight pass breakups on the year. Dallas has to improve on throwing the ball this week and this is the matchup to watch.