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Sports Dallas Cowboys vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers live blog: Score updates, analysis of NFL season opener

05:15  10 september  2021
05:15  10 september  2021 Source:   usatoday.com

Bucs pull off ugly win against Cowboys with field goal in final seconds of NFL opener

  Bucs pull off ugly win against Cowboys with field goal in final seconds of NFL opener Tom Brady and the Bucs opened defense of Super Bowl crown with a 31-29 win against the Cowboys that had good fortune with some championship grit.Very ugly.

The 2021 NFL season is finally here!

The regular season kicks off Thursday as the defending Super Bowl-champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers play host to the Dallas Cowboys. The game will mark Dak Prescott's much-anticipated return from a compound fracture and dislocated ankle last October. Prescott and the Cowboys' promising offense – which is set to be without all-pro guard Zack Martin – will have a tough test out of the gates against a Buccaneers defense that surged during its Super Bowl run last season.

a football player in the middle of a crowd: Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) calls a play against the Dallas Cowboys during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. © Kim Klement, Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) calls a play against the Dallas Cowboys during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium.

Meanwhile, Tom Brady will be making his record 300th career regular-season start against a Dallas defense looking to find its footing under new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

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  Cowboys QB Dak Prescott’s farewell to Tom Brady sends message about his confidence Dak Prescott nearly put the Cowboys over the top against the Buccaneers, and the quarterback had a pointed message for Tom Brady afterward.He had just thrown for 403 yards and three touchdowns at Raymond James Stadium, his Cowboys falling 31-29 to the Buccaneers in a match more competitive than many expected.

From NFL plays to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day.

Stay here for updates from USA TODAY Sports, including Jori Epstein and Jarrett Bell on the scene in Tampa, throughout the action.

Score: Buccaneers 21, Cowboys 16 2:38 second quarter

So if the Bucs running backs are slipping up, maybe it's time to go to one of the wide receivers. Antonio Brown roasts Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown deep for a 47-yard scoring strike. Tom Brady is up to 213 yards and three touchdowns ... before halftime.

Score: Cowboys 16, Buccaneers 14 3:21 second quarter

Another big error by a Buccaneers back, as Leonard Fournette allows a pass to bounce off his hands and into the arms of Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs for an interception. Dak Prescott can't get Dallas into the end zone after his third-down pass is deflected by Lavonte David on what might otherwise have been an interception by Mike Edwards. But Zuerlein finds some redemption as he converts a 35-yard field goal.

‘We paid a price’: Jerry Jones on Cowboys kicking woes, whether he still supports Greg Zuerlein

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Score: Buccaneers 14, Cowboys 13 4:20 second quarter

After their own slip-up, the Cowboys get a big boost thanks to a mistake by the Buccaneers - Ronald Jones' fumble, which was forced by DeMarcus Lawrence and recovered by Randy Gregory. Five plays and 27 yards later, Dak Prescott recovers from a bad snap and finds Amari Cooper in the end zone for the score. But Greg Zuerlein misses the extra point that would have tied the game.

Score: Buccaneers 14, Cowboys 7 6:36 second quarter

A promising drive unraveled for the Cowboys in a hurry. After Dak Prescott nearly threw an interception to Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis in the end zone, Greg Zeurlein hooked a 31-yard field goal attempt wide left. Not the kind of mistakes the Cowboys can afford, especially with Brady and the Bucs passing attack clicking.

Score: Buccaneers 14, Cowboys 7 9:48 second quarter

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are at it again. The two connect for their 85th regular-season touchdown, tying Steve Young and Jerry Rice for the third-most of any duo in NFL history. Brady is now 11-of-15 for 156 yards and two touchdowns. And remember when you heard this offseason about the NFL making taunting penalties a point of emphasis? One got called on Bucs center Ryan Jensen after Cowboys defensive tackle Carlos Watkins earned an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for a shove.

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Score: Cowboys 7, Buccaneers 7 1:35 first quarter

Welcome back, Dak Prescott. The Cowboys QB led a seven-play, 75-yard drive to even the score late in the first. Prescott found Michael Gallup three times on the series, but CeeDee Lamb made up for his earlier drop by faking a screen and dashing past Buccaneers cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting for a 22-yard scoring strike. Murphy-Bunting was hurt on the play and later ruled out for the remainder of

Score: Buccaneers 7, Cowboys 0 5:23 first quarter

Tom Brady and his receiving corps didn't take long to kick off the rust. Brady led the Bucs on a nine-play, 94-yard touchdown drive capped by a 5-yard strike to Chris Godwin over the middle. Brady also showed off his connection with Antonio Brown, who hauled in a 28-yard over-the-shoulder grab on a sluggo route. Brady went 6-of-7 for 86 yards on the drive, hitting four different receivers. And just like that, Dak Prescott and the Cowboys find themselves in an early hole again.

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Score: Cowboys 0, Buccaneers 0 9:32 first quarter

Nice start for Dak Prescott, who finds a wide-open Amari Cooper down the left sideline for an easy 28-yard gain on the quarterback's first play from scrimmage since last year's compound fracture and ankle dislocation. But the drive stalls in part due to a CeeDee Lamb drop and a false start on "the entire offensive line," as the officials called it. Prescott then threw an incompletion on third-and-15 as Lavonte David barreled down on A-gap blitz.

Score: Cowboys 0, Buccaneers 0 13:18 first quarter

An early win for Dan Quinn and the Cowboys defense, which forced Tom Brady and the Buccaneers to a three-and-out on the first series. Tampa Bay wanted to test out Dallas' run defense, which ranked 31st last year, on first and second down, but Brady couldn't connect with Chris Godwin on third down. Bradley Pinion then pinned the Cowboys inside their 5-yard line.

Cowboys-Buccaneers inactives

The Cowboys' inactives for Thursday night are: safeties Malik Hooker and Israel Mukuamu, quarterback Will Grier, defensive ends Azur Kamara and Chauncey Golston, linebacker Luke Gifford and wide receiver Noah Brown.

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  Cowboys DE Randy Gregory tests positive for COVID-19; what that means vs. Chargers Cowboys' Randy Gregory tests positive for COVID-19, goes on reserve/COVID list. Dallas would feel his absence if he can't face the Chargers.They face the possibility of missing another first-team lineman when traveling to Los Angeles this week to face the Chargers.

The Buccaneers' inactives are: quarterback Kyle Trask, running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn, wide receiver Jaelon Darden, offensive guard Nick Leverett, defensive lineman Khalil Davis and safeties Jordan Whitehead and Chris Cooper.

Cowboys-Buccaneers injury report

The Cowboys looked to be in good shape this week, with all of the players on their injury report listed as full participants by Wednesday. Starting right guard Zack Martin, however, figures to be out after testing positive for COVID-19.

The Buccaneers, meanwhile, will be without starting safety Jordan Whitehead as he continues to recover from a hamstring ailment.

Pregame reading

Get set for Thursday night's matchup with some of our best recent stories on the Bucs-Cowboys tilt as well as predictions for the upcoming season.

  • Tom Brady is all business as he sets out on his Super Bowl repeat bid.
  • What can we expect from Dak Prescott in his comeback? Jori Epstein details the Cowboys QB's journey.
  • The Cowboys D and coordinator Dan Quinn could hold the key to turning things around in Year 2 under Mike McCarthy.
  • Who is USA TODAY Sports' NFL staff picking for Cowboys-Buccaneers and other Week 1 games? Find all our selections here.
  • Super Bowl predictions, MVP forecast and more: We've got you covered.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Dallas Cowboys vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers live blog: Score updates, analysis of NFL season opener

Opinion: In land of crapshoots and crazy odds, it was a long-shot victory for the Las Vegas Raiders .
The Las Vegas Raiders played their first game before fans at their new home, Allegiant Stadium, and provided a wild finish worthy of marquee billingThis is how you lose. One team's miracle is another team’s nightmare.

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