Halftime Report: Cowboys display dominance, lead Bucs 18 – 0 at halftime

Even though the Cowboys are a far better team on paper, there was a lot of debate going into this game about whether Dallas or Tampa Bay should be the favored team.

Dallas has a better record and team stats, but mistakes have cost them throughout the season. Tampa Bay has had trouble scoring, but Tom Brady is known for pulling off impressive scoring drives in the last couple of minutes of regulation.

It was imperative that the Cowboys get off to a strong start, and they checked all the boxes necessary to do so.

1st quarter

The Cowboys received the ball first. They started on their own 25-yard line after a touchback. Three consecutive incomplete passes forced the Cowboys to punt.

Tom Brady and the Bucs offense began their first drive at their own 35-yard line. After two incomplete passes and a holding call, the Bucs were also forced to punt.

The first points of the game were scored by the Cowboys with 6:28 remaining in the first quarter. A seven-play, 80-yard drive ended with a connection from Dak Prescott to tight end Dalton Schultz in the end zone. Brett Maher’s extra point attempt was no good. DAL 6, TB 0. 

2nd quarter

The Bucs spent the remaining 6:28 of the first quarter moving the ball 70 yards down the field. At the start of the 2nd quarter, they were 5 yards away from the end zone. On 2nd & goal, Jayron Kearse intercepted Tom Brady’s pass in the end zone giving Dak and the Dallas offense the ball on their own 20-yard line.

The Cowboys found themselves in a bit of trouble when they faced a 3rd & 8 situation at mid field. A pass from Dak Prescott to T.Y. Hilton, a.k.a. “Mr. 3rd & Long” gave the Cowboys 14 yards and a fresh set of downs.

Dak followed that with a pass to tight end Jake Ferguson. Ferg took advantage of an excellent block by CeeDee Lamb and brought the ball to the Tampa Bay 6-yard line. On 4th & goal from the 1-yard line, Dak Prescott ran the ball into the end zone himself for a touchdown. Brett Maher missed an extra point for the second time. DAL 12, TB 0. 

The Bucs’ following drive ended with a punt after five plays. Dak and the offense took over on their own 9-yard line with 3:32 left in the 2nd quarter. The drive took 11 plays which included an 11-yard run by Dak Prescott and a 20-yard catch by CeeDee Lamb.

Once the Cowboys reached the Tampa Bay 17-yard line, two passes in a row to Dalton Schultz got the Cowboys into the end zone once again. Brett Maher missed a third extra point in a row. DAL 18, TB 0.

The Bucs got the ball back with 27 seconds left in the half. They were unable to score before time expired,

Game Notes

Dak Prescott completed 11 straight passes in the 1st half, the most consecutive completions in Cowboys posteason history.

Dalton Schultz became the first tight end in team history with multiple receiving touchdowns in a postseaon game.

Jayron Kearse intercepted a Tom Brady pass in the end zone. It was Brady’s first end zone interception since he joined the Buccaneers in 2020.

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