Buccaneers: Dak Prescott questions improve outlook in week one

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys, Vita Vea, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys, Vita Vea, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports /

Maybe Dak Prescott won’t be an issue for the Buccaneers in week one after all.

Ever since the NFL released the schedule for the 2021 season, the Buccaneers have been eyeing the matchup against the Cowboys. Whether you see Dallas as a legitimate contender or not, the chance to beat America’s team in primetime is hard to pass up, and a matchup against a top-tier quarterback like Dak Prescott is a perfect test for the Buccaneer defense.

While it would have been nice to play Dak at full strength to show how much this defense has grown, it looks more and more likely by the day that Dak could be on the sideline in week one, or at the very least below 100%.

The Cowboys have done plenty to fan the flames of conjecture. After showing signs of positive growth during camp, Prescott suffered an apparent shoulder injury that may be more significant than initially thought. Dallas has done little to help themselves with vague tweets from the official team Twitter page.

The injury went from being a non-issue to being a more defined question mark over a few weeks, and this is a good news bad news situation for the Bucs.

The good news for the Bucs is that one of the best quarterbacks in the league won’t be at full strength during the first game. Based on the need for a second MRI, Dak is clearly not feeling like himself, and injuries that require multiple MRIs don’t usually go away over a few weeks. Without Dak, the Cowboys are a much easier team to face, which would be perfect for the Buccaneers as they ease into their Super Bowl defense campaign against an understaffed roster.

On the other hand, playing a depleted team in the first week could have negative impacts as well. For starters, a team playing with their backup is a trap. The Cowboys don’t even have to beat the Buccaneers with their backup to cause some damage to the kings’ reputation.

A backup keeping the score close would create some massive question marks around the secondary.

In addition to the trap game aspect, it would be much better for the Buccaneers in the long run to start their season off against the type of competition they expect to face during the playoffs. Tampa can’t afford to sleepwalk through any games or take any days off, and the team will grow much more from facing top-tier quarterbacks than it will beating up on backups.

One way or the other, the Buccaneers should be the heavy favorites in their opener for the first time in a few years, and Dak Prescott is only a part of the equation that goes into determining this aspect.

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