Dak delivered. And Dallas left no doubt.
Now, about those missed PATs…
Monday night’s massacre was by far the least competitive game of Super Wild Card Weekend. That’s a compliment to the Cowboys. Once Dallas got up 24-0, there was no chance that the Bucs would pull a Jaguar-esque comeback.
Whenever Brady retires, he will not retire undefeated against the Dallas Cowboys. And he will not retire unbruised by the Dallas Cowboys.
And this is significant, too. Unless Dallas lays a stink bomb in San Francisco, the Cowboys should have a relatively tranquil offseason, at least by Cowboy standards. Mike McCarthy can keep his parking spot. And Dak can keep doing Sleep Number Bed commercials.
Certainly, Prescott looked rested, refreshed and clear-eyed Monday night in Tampa. And let’s talk about Dak’s eyes. They did not wander lazily and blindly, as they often had in the previous seven games. Prescott’s peepers were locked in and focused throughout.
Yep, I picked the Bucs. I was wrong, and thus had to settle for a 5-1 record in the Wild Card round. But Monday morning I did lay out a path to victory for Dallas, and the Cowboys followed it like they had dropped bread crumbs all the way to Tampa.
Dallas checked all the boxes.
- Put Brady on his back early and often—check
- Put the Bucs in third and long, consistently–check
- Strangle Tampa’s running game—check
- Run the ball back at the Bucs—check
- Don’t turn it over–check
OK, the Cowboys checked all the boxes except one. “Be clean on special teams.” Oops.
Now, about the GOAT. I’m not sure that was the last time we will see him in a football uniform. But I have a strong feeling it’s the last time we will see him in a Buccaneer’s uniform. Hello, Vegas?
Physically, there is no reason for him to retire, even though he’ll be 46 before the start of next season. Yes, he threw a very rare brain-dead red zone pick Monday night, but his arm has lost nothing. He just needs protection and a running game. Hello, Vegas?
Watching Bucs’ WR Russell Gage receiving intensive medical attention after suffering a neck injury late in the game was frighteningly familiar, was it not? As I type this at 5:37 a.m. Tuesday, Gage’s condition is encouraging. It still would not hurt to crank up the prayer machine again.
Finally for today, the Texans have wrapped up the interview process with Sean Payton. I think this may actually happen. More on that tomorrow.