Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dallas Cowboys: Prediction, matchups, how to watch, and more

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dallas Cowboys Week 1 matchup is familiar. It happened just one year ago as the Thursday Night Football season opener..

The Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers both won their division a season ago, but both had relatively disappointing seasons compared to expectations. The two will meet at Jerry World, AT&T Stadium for the opening Sunday Night Football matchup of the season. Read on for a breakdown of the game, where to watch, injuries, and the game prediction from our NFL staff.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dallas Cowboys preview

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will head into 2022 without star center Ryan Jensen, who is out for a mysterious amount of time with a knee injury. Tampa Bay heads into the season with a bevy of receivers who weren’t on the roster a season ago, including Julio Jones and Russell Gage.

Last season’s injuries hurt their secondary, but the unit is healthy heading into Week 1 against a Dallas receiving corps that looks vastly different than a season ago. Akiem Hicks and Vita Vea will provide an awesome 1-2 punch on the defensive interior for Tampa Bay this season, as well.

The Buccaneers still feel like one of the favorites in the NFC, but the Cowboys appear to be far from what they were just a season ago. Amari Cooper and La’el Collins are no longer on the roster. Randy Gregory packed his bags and went to Denver.

Meanwhile, they’ve already lost Tyron Smith until at least December. That means rookie Tyler Smith will start at left tackle in Week 1 against Shaq Barrett and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka. But the Cowboys’ young and productive defense from a season ago should help buoy the team a bit if the offense can’t find its footing with lackluster talent.

How to watch

  • Date/Time
    Sunday, Sept. 11, 8:20 p.m. ET
  • Channel
  • Live Stream
    Peacock, NBC Sports, fuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV


The Dallas Cowboys have dominated the all-time series against Tampa Bay, winning 15 of their 20 matchups since the first meeting in 1977. They met in last season’s Thursday Night Football opener, where Tampa Bay won 31-29.

The Cowboys lost in dominating fashion to the San Francisco 49ers a season ago in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs. The Buccaneers lost the following week in the Divisional Round to the eventual Super Bowl Champions, the Los Angeles Rams.

Dallas Cowboys 2021 stats/rankings

  • Scoring: 31.2 (first)
  • Yards: 407 (first)
  • Yards per play: 6.0 (third)
  • Passing: 282.4 (second)
  • Rushing: 124.6 (ninth)
  • Defensive scoring: 21.1 (seventh)
  • Yards allowed: 351 (19th)
  • Yards per play allowed: 5.51 (20th)
  • Pass defense: 238.2 (20th)
  • Rush defense: 112.8 (16th)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2021 stats/rankings

  • Scoring: 30.1 (second)
  • Yards: 405.9 (second)
  • Yards per play: 6.1 (second)
  • Passing: 307.6 (first)
  • Rushing: 98.4 (26th)
  • Defensive scoring: 20.8 (fifth)
  • Yards allowed: 331.5 (13th)
  • Yards per play allowed: 5.16 (seventh)
  • Pass defense: 238.9 (21st)
  • Rush defense: 92.5 (third)

Injuries to know

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
CB Zyon McCollum (hamstring, out)
WR Russell Gage (hamstring, questionable)
WR Chris Godwin (knee, questionable)
C Ryan Jensen (injured reserve)
G Aaron Stinnie (injured reserve)
LB Cam Gill (injured reserve)
RB Kenjon Barner (injured reserve)

Dallas Cowboys:
WR Michael Gallup (knee, out)
S Jayron Kearse (unknown, questionable)
OT Tyron Smith (injured reserve)
LB Davante Bond (injured reserve)
TE Ian Bunting (injured reserve)
LB Damone Clark (non-football injury list)


Betting line (courtesy of Caesars)
Buccaneers -2.5; Buccaneers -145, Cowboys +122; O/U 50.5.

Dalton Miller’s Prediction
1-0 straight-up, 1-0 against the spread in 2022
Buccaneers 31, Cowboys 24

Adam Beasley’s Prediction
1-0 straight-up, 1-0 against the spread in 2022
Buccaneers 33, Cowboys 20

Dallas Robinson’s Prediction
1-0 straight-up, 0-1 against the spread in 2022
Buccaneers 30, Cowboys 20


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