This Sunday night, the Buccaneers (8-5) look to make it six as they travel to take on the Dallas Cowboys (11-2). Here, we preview the Sunday Night Football matchup and tell you where to watch and listen to it.
It’s December 18, and the Buccaneers are getting a lot of hype from both fans and the national media. What says “the Bucs are back to relevance” more than having their game with the Cowboys flexed into the Sunday night slot? But, none of the hype will matter once the teams take the field for the 8:30 p.m. ET kickoff.
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Tampa Bay needed a strong defensive performance last week to outlast New Orleans. In the 16-11 win, the Bucs scored just one touchdown and settled for three field goals. It took interceptions from Vernon Hargreaves, Brent Grimes and Keith Tandy to keep the Saints’ offense in check. Stellar special teams plays by Bryan Anger, Josh Robinson and Ryan Smith were huge as well. The victory kept the Bucs in a tie for first place in the NFC South. They currently have a wild card spot and control their own playoff destiny, but winning the division is still the ultimate goal.
The Cowboys have been winning all year long. They lost their opener, then rattled off 11 straight wins before a 10-7 loss to the Giants last week. Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott, who has been a pleasant surprise all year, struggled in last Sunday’s loss. He completed just 17 of his 37 passes for 165 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Ezekiel Elliott, another outstanding rookie, is leading the league in rushing. Last week, he went for 107 yards on 24 carries.
As far as injuries go, things are a bit murky for the Bucs. Demar Dotson (concussion) is officially out, while Chris Conte (chest), Lavonte David (hamstring), Gerald McCoy (foot), Sealver Siliga (calf) and Luke Stocker (ankle) are all questionable. Adam Humphries, who missed last week with a concussion, is set to return this week. For Dallas, there are a whopping 10 players listed as questionable. Among those are leading tackler Sean Lee and star receiver Dez Bryant. Morris Claiborne, DeMarcus Lawrence and Chaz Green will miss the game.
These two teams last met in week 10 of the 2015 season. The Bucs won at home by a score of 10-6, with Jameis Winston running for the go-ahead touchdown from one yard out with 54 seconds left. The Cowboys lead the all-time regular season series 11-4, and own an 8-1 record in Dallas.
Where to Watch
Because this is Sunday Night Football, NBC will have the national broadcast. Al Michaels will have the play-by-play, joined by color analyst Cris Collinsworth. Michele Tafoya will have reports from the sideline.
Where to Listen
In the Tampa Bay area, the game can be heard on 103.5 FM or 620 AM. Play-by-play man Gene Deckerhoff will be joined by Dave Moore (commentary) and T.J. Rives (sideline). For more radio options around Florida, check here. The game will also be on Buccaneers.com or the Buccaneers mobile app.
Satellite radio subscribers can listen to the Tampa Bay broadcast on Sirius 119. The Dallas broadcast will be on Sirius 81.
For in-game and post game coverage, follow @ThePewterPlank on Twitter.