If there was ever a best time for the Buccaneers to play a Cowboys team that almost won the NFC, it would probably be right after one of their worst games of the season.
A day that started with promise for the Cowboys in their quest to with the NFC and secure a first-round bye ended similarly to that of the one for the Buccaneers with a disappointing loss against an inferior opponent.
The Bucs and the Cowboys both had little to play for in the grand scheme of things in their differing situations, but the point that was evident from early on in the Cowboys game was that both teams got far more out of their regular season finales from what they didn’t do rather than what they actually did.
Even if the Cowboys won against the Commanders, the first-round matchup against the Bucs didn’t change. Why Dallas left its starters in the game for as long as it did is beyond this writer.
Still, it was nice for Buccaneers fans to see the Cowboys keep their starters in the game well into the fourth quarter with nothing on the line.
Once the Eagles pulled ahead of the Giants and Dak started to take hits and miss throws, the Cowboys should’ve done what the Bucs did and pulled their starting quarterback. Instead, Dallas allowed their team to create a product that was nearly unwatchable against a bad team, and reps like that carry into the playoffs.
While the Bucs didn’t have a great game either in their loss versus the Falcons, the Cowboys will be reeling after a game that had a bit more emotion due to the starters playing longer in a losing effort.
Dallas is going to be much harder for the Bucs in the playoffs than they were in a season opener that feels like it was years ago, but the good news for the Buccaneers is that the momentum could be in Tampa’s favor if the last games were any indication.
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