The Cowboys start their latest postseason run against Bucs.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) throws a pass behind an offensive line of Tyler Smith (73) Matt Farniok (68), Tyler Biadasz (63), Zack Martin (70) and Terence Steele (78) during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at AT&T Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, in Arlington.(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)
After watching Philadelphia stumble toward the end of the regular season, the Cowboys had a chance to claim the NFC East title and the NFC’s top seed. However, the Eagles won their regular-season finale over the Giants while the Cowboys fell 26-6 to Washington. The Cowboys will open the playoffs against the Buccaneers.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Cowboys-Bucs matchup.
Wild-card round: Cowboys at Buccaneers
When: 7:15 p.m. CT, Monday
Records: Cowboys (12-5); Bucs (8-9)
Where: Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida
TV: ESPN, ABC, ESPN2-Manningcast
Radio: 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]
Betting line: DAL -3.0 (FanDuel as of Sunday)
Look back at recent meetings between the Cowboys and Buccaneers
One year later, a season-opening loss to the Bucs feels very different for the Cowboys
ARLINGTON — For the second consecutive season, the Cowboys opened the regular season with a loss to Tampa Bay.
This one feels much different.
The optimism generated by last season’s narrow loss to the Buccaneers has given way to doubt. The Cowboys’ 19-3 loss was no offensive springboard. It was a frightening glimpse into how limited this group has become.
And that was before the team lost Dak Prescott.
The quarterback suffered a fractured thumb on his throwing hand in the closing minutes of Sunday’s loss, a person with knowledge of the specific injury said. Prescott is scheduled to visit with the surgeon Monday morning and undergo surgery in the afternoon.
To read more of this story, click here.
Cowboys fail to make stop that matters most, watch another potentially defining moment slip away
TAMPA, Fla. — An improbable victory that could have altered the perception of these Cowboys was only seconds away.
But, as has happened so often in recent years at crossroads moments, the outcome veered the wrong way.
Does Tampa Bay’s 31-29 comeback win Thursday doom Dallas to another, frustrating season of near misses? Not at all. Coaches and players had to be encouraged by going into the final minute-and-a-half with a chance to beat a Buccaneers team no one gave them a chance of beating.
But Tom Brady, as he has throughout his remarkable career, engineered a crucial drive to allow Ryan Succop to win the game with a 36-yard field goal with two seconds left.
And here’s the rub. The Cowboys late lead lasted all of 1:22 as the defense allowed the Bucs to go 57 yards in 11 plays.
To read more of this story, click here.
How Cowboys have fared in this round
From Dak’s scramble to Tony’s fumble, a look at the most memorable Cowboys wild card games
In going 7-6 in previous wild card round appearances, the Cowboys haven’t had a ton of highlight-reel moments. The games were usually either the dawning of a new playoff window for the team, with greater moments ahead, or the close of a previous window. Here is a look at five of the most memorable wild card games in Cowboys history:
Dec. 29, 1991: Back in the playoffs again
Cowboys 17, Chicago 13
The Cowboys ended a five-year run of losing seasons by winning their last five regular-season games, then ended a nine-year drought without a playoff win. It was built on a formula of running the ball and holding the line.
The Cowboys created three turnovers and twice stopped the Bears inside the Dallas 10. Ray Horton sacked Jim Harbaugh at the seven with 6:29 left in the game on a fourth-and-four at the seven.
Emmitt Smith, who scored the Cowboys’ first touchdown on a one-yard run, rushed for 105 yards. It was the first 100-yard rushing performance the Bears had allowed in 16 playoff appearances dating to 1932. And it was the first of seven career 100-yard playoff rushing performances for Smith, which is still tied with Terrell Davis for the most all-time.
“We are learning to win,” quarterback Steve Buerlein said. “This team is awfully young. You have to learn to win. Now we believe we can win anytime we set foot on the field.”
Buerlein was right. Dallas would win 11 of 13 playoff games and three Super Bowls over the ensuing five years. He, however, would start none of those wins.
Jan. 2, 1999: The End
Arizona 20, Cowboys 7
A depressing domination at the hands of the Cardinals seemed to put a bow on the Cowboys’ Dynasty of the ‘90s.
There had been significant turnover on the roster, but The Triplets remained. In this game, it was apparent The Triplets looked old, too. Aikman was sacked four times and intercepted three. In his penultimate playoff appearance, Emmitt Smith was held to 74 yards and without a touchdown and Michael Irvin caught four balls for 32 yards in what would be his last playoff game.
Arizona led 10-0 at halftime, then scored three plays into the third quarter after an Adrian Murrell 74-yard run up the middle. The Cowboys avoided the shutout with a touchdown with 3:33 left in the game.
“We were asked a lot during the week if the window is closing,” Aikman said afterward. “For a lot of people, that window shut a long time ago. We don’t have a lot of players who were here when we had that success. We’re looking through a different window now.”
Jan. 6, 2007: Romo’s fumble
Seattle 21, Cowboys 20
What had been a magical run for midseason quarterback replacement Tony Romo came to a stunning and most unfortunate end: A fumbled snap as the holder on what should have been a go-ahead 19-yard field goal with 1:19 remaining.
The Cowboys had led 17-13 going to the fourth quarter on a 93-yard kickoff return by Miles Austin, which had answered Seattle’s go-ahead touchdown. They extended it to seven points on Martin Gramatica’s 29-yard field goal with 10 minutes left.
After holding Seattle on a first-and-goal from the one, the Cowboys were poised to take control. But, Terry Glenn fumbled Romo’s first-down pass and it was recovered for a safety. On the ensuing drive, Seattle went 50 yards in four plays to take the lead.
The Cowboys, though, patiently drove to Seattle’s 2-yard line, forcing the Seahawks to burn their final timeouts in the process. Romo took a good snap and it simply slipped from his hands. He scooped it up and tried to get to the corner but was dragged down at the two.
“I cost the Dallas Cowboys a playoff win,” Romo said after the game. “That’s going to sit with me a long time.”
Jan. 5, 2019: The Rise of a New Era
Cowboys 24, Seattle 22
In what seemed to be a statement of times to come, Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and the youngest roster in the NFL playoffs seized control against a proud but fading NFC kingpin late. It was the first playoff victory for the Cowboys’ young quarterback.
His QB sneak with 2:08 to play gave the Cowboys the lead for good. One play earlier, he’d scrambled for 16 yards on a third-and-14. Elliott, who scored the Cowboys’ first touchdown of the fourth quarter, finished with 137 yards on the ground. The duo combined for all 130 yards on the Cowboys’ final two scoring drives.
“He’s just a rare guy,” then-coach Jason Garrett said of Prescott. “His leadership, his toughness, his spirit. It’s like none other. Somehow, someway, he was going to figure it out for us. I thought he did it throughout the ballgame. He showed up, throwing it and running it at critical moments.”
Jan. 16, 2022: Dak’s mad dash
San Francisco 23, Cowboys 17
The 2021-22 Cowboys were back in the playoffs for the first time in three seasons after finishing the regular season 12-5, Dallas’ highest win total since 2016.
Unfortunately, they were popped in the mouth at home by a 10-7 49ers team, which used a combined 168 yards rushing from Elijah Mitchell and Deebo Samuel to build up a 23-7 lead early in the second half.
The Cowboys fought back with a Bryan Anger fake punt pass and an Anthony Brown interception to come within scraping distance at 23-17, but the now-infamous end-of-game scramble by Prescott with 14 seconds left didn’t give the Cowboys enough time for a shot at a go-ahead touchdown. The controversial quarterback draw (and subsequential flubbing of the spot by the official) let the clock roll down to zero and brought a chaotic end to the Cowboys’ 2021 season.
Cowboys’ history vs. Tom Brady
In his 23 NFL seasons, Brady has won all seven games he’s played against the Cowboys, all in the regular season. Now, Brady and his Buccaneers are set to face the Cowboys in the wild-card round next weekend after Dallas’ 26-6 loss to Washington in the regular season finale.
Brady’s most recent win over the Cowboys came in the season opener on Sept. 11.
Click here to read about each meeting between Brady and the Cowboys ahead of their playoff matchup.
Breaking down the opponent
The Dallas Cowboys will travel to Raymond James Stadium next weekend for an NFC wild-card matchup against the NFC South champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
NFL playoff schedule
Here’s how this year’s postseason matchups will shake out, starting with the wild card round. All times CT.
No. 7 Seattle at No. 2 San Francisco, 3:30 p.m., Saturday
No. 6 NY Giants at No. 3 Vikings, 3:30 p.m., Sunday
No. 5 Dallas at No. 4 Tampa Bay, 7:15 p.m., Monday
No. 7 Miami at No. 2 Buffalo, noon, Sunday
No. 6 Baltimore at No. 3 Cincinnati, 7:15 p.m., Sunday
No. 5 LA Chargers at No. 4 Jacksonville, 7:15 p.m., Saturday