The Dallas Cowboys kicked off the 2021 NFL season against the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Buccanneers on Thursday night. A game, that once had a ten-point spread, was decided by a go-ahead field goal with seven seconds left. Tampa Bay looked ready to defend their championship while Dallas showed they might have a chance to make a run in the playoffs this season.
You are likely reading this on Saturday or Sunday which means there have been enough game recaps to go around the news cycle. For that reason, I’ve decided to write about three takeaways from that night.
Coming into the game the team was expected to be without All-Pro RG Zack Martin because of Covid-19. This came with legitimate concern as Tampa Bay’s interior defensive line is one of the best in the league. Connor McGovern filled in nicely proving why McCarthy felt he was the sixth starting offensive lineman on this roster.
Amari Cooper looked good as usual, Michael Gallup was making the most of his touches before sat out for the game, and CeeDee Lamb had his usual jaw-dropping moments in combination with some uninspired drops. The Cowboys probably didn’t expect Dak to throw it 58 times in his return, but they understood that it would work.
It goes without saying Dak was incredible last night. He came into the game unphased and he ended up completing 72 percent of his passes. He was pretty accurate for most of the game and his lone interception of the game came on a deflection off CeeDee Lamb’s hands.
As for the defense, it was always going to be a tough battle. Tom Brady has only played in the NFL for 22 seasons and he gets to throw to Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, Scotty Miller, and Rob Gronkowski on a regular basis. The team’s three starting cornerbacks Thursday night were Trevon Diggs, Anthony Brown, and Jourdan Lewis.
Trevon Diggs was comfortably the best cornerback as he shadowed Mike Evans pretty much the entire game. He has a great interception off a Leonard Fournette deflection and held Mike Evans to three receptions for 24 yards. On the final Tampa Bay drive, he also made that incredible play reaching out for the ball to stop what would’ve been a game-sealing completion.
While Jourdan Lewis had an interception and a fumble recovery, Chris Godwin was giving him fits all night allowing nine receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown. Things were even worse for Anthony Brown as he shadowed Antonio Brown allowing five receptions for 125 yards and one touchdown.
As expected, it wasn’t a great showing for the other two cornerbacks meaning the return of rookie cornerback Kelvin Joseph simply can’t come sooner.
With that quick summary out of the way…
Here are the three Dallas Cowboys takeaways, talking points, points of emphasis, or whatever you want to call them.