There was no magic left for the great Tom Brady on Monday night. He picked up his first career loss to the Dallas Cowboys in a 31-14 beatdown. Brady was previously 7-0 all-time against America’s Team. It was all Cowboys from start to finish, as they locked up their first playoff win since 2018. It is also their first road playoff win since 1993.
For Dallas, a near-perfect performance, outside of four missed PATs by Brett Maher. Fortunately for the Cowboys, it did not come back to bite them. Dallas had a 18-0 head heading into halftime. Two of their three first-half scores came from Dak Prescott throws to tight end Dalton Schultz. Their first hookup went for 22 yards, and the second for 11 yards. Prescott sandwiched a one-yard rushing touchdown in between. The Cowboys offense did whatever they wanted against a gassed and undisciplined Bucs defense.
Tampa Bay put together a nice drive to potentially take the lead in the late first/early second quarter. However, Brady threw his first redzone interception since 2019, breaking his NFL record of 409 consecutive attempts without a pick. Cowboys safety Jayron Kearse came up with the turnover, squandering Tampa’s only real opportunity at first-half points.
The Cowboys extended their lead with a touchdown on their first possession of the second half. Prescott found Michael Gallup in the corner of the endzone. The ball zipped through the hands of a Bucs defender into the arms of Gallup.
The Buccaneers found their first points of the game with a Brady heave to Julio Jones for 30 yards as time expired in the third quarter. It was Brady’s best throw all game, as he looked off and uncomfortable for most of the contest.
It was too little too late for Tampa. Both teams traded touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but Dallas won this game comfortably. Brady finished the game 35 of 66 for 351 yards in addition to two touchdowns and an interception. For the Cowboys, Prescott finished 25 of 33 for 305 yards and four touchdowns. Nearly flawless.
NFC Divisional Round
The (5) Dallas Cowboys will take on the (2) San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional Round. It will be a rematch of last year’s Wild Card game. The Niners beat the Cowboys 23-17 in Dallas, a game in which the Cowboys botched the final, potential game-winning drive. They will have the Sunday late afternoon slot, with kickoff scheduled for 6:30 PM/ET on FOX.
On the other side of the bracket, two NFC East rivals will face off between the (6) New York Giants and (1) Philadelphia Eagles. Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday night, 8:15 PM/ET on FOX.
As for the Bucs, all eyes are on Brady, as he is set to be an upcoming free agent. Will he retire? Will he sign with another team? I guess time will tell, but this could be another interesting and uncertain offseason for Brady.
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