Dallas Cowboys: How to Avoid Week 1 Repeat Against the Buccaneers

(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images)
(Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images) /

I think it is safe to say that this matchup does not consist of the same Dallas Cowboys the Buccaneers saw in Week One for their Wild Card matchup on Monday night. Tom Brady looks more human than ever and the Dallas Cowboys have found their identity.

They leaned more upon Tony Pollard in the coming weeks than they ever would in Week One and little to no connection between Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb who was targeted 11 times for two catches and 29 yards. Despite all that the plan to beat the Buccaneers is the same it always has been.

The Dallas Cowboys need to eliminate the ground game and establish one of our own.

In week one Leonard Fournette ran for 127 yards and for the remainder of the season Fournette never got higher than 72 averaging 38.6 yards per game. The Bucs have struggled to drive all the way down the field and have thrived, as most teams do, on short field position.

Besides the final two minutes of a one-score game, Brady has been well below average by his standards. With the severe lack of a running game they rely heavily upon Brady who lead the league in attempts with 733.

If the Cowboys are able to limit Fournette as the rest of the league has, our defensive line should be able to frustrate Brady and confuse an offensive line that is both battered and constantly changing.

Similarly, the Cowboys were also unlike themselves on the ground in Week One, just the other way around. Tony Pollard had eight yards on six attempts and ended the season being second in Yards Per Carry with 5.2. It took until Week 6 for Pollard to consistently get 10+ touches each game.

This change clearly affected the Dallas Cowboys rushing game in a positive manner, so the rushing attack will be vastly different than that which Tampa shut down earlier. The balance that Kellen Moore has found in Ezekiel Elliott and Pollard has levelled up the entire offense and I don’t see the Buccaneers having the capabilities to remove both players from the equation for the entire game.

Many have ruled out the Dallas Cowboys because of their lackluster performance against the Commanders and also because of the “Tom Brady Effect” in the playoffs. The Cowboys are a better team than they showed last week and Brady has not done enough to even have earned a .500 record in the weak NFC South.

Must Read. Why the Cowboys became a running team in the first place. light

I expect the Cowboys to win this game and go into Santa Clara for the Divisional Round.