Date: Sunday, September 13, 2009
Kickoff: 1:00 p.m. ET
Site: Raymond James Stadium (65,890)
2008 Records: Tampa Bay 9-7, Dallas 9-7
Network Television: FOX
Play-by-Play: Kenny Albert, Analyst: Daryl Johnston, Sideline: Tony Siragusa
National Radio: Compass Media Networks
Play-by-Play: Chris Carrino, Analyst: Brian Baldinger
Bucs Radio: US 103.5, flagship station (103.5 FM, 620 AM)
Play-by-Play: Gene Deckerhoff, Color: Dave Moore, Sideline: T.J. Rives
Last Game: Tampa Bay lost vs. Houston 27-20; Dallas defeated Minnesota 35-31
Next Game: Tampa Bay at Buffalo (9/20); Dallas vs. N.Y. Giants (9/20)
The countdown to a brand new era in Buccaneer football, will be ushered in as Raheem Morris leads his players against the Dallas Cowboys for what is sure to be an exciting, yet head slapping season opener. The best way to describe the feeling around the Tampa area is uncertainty, as many are casually optimistic in regards to the overall direction with which, the new regime has the team sailing towards.
The Buccaneers have won three of the last five meetings against the Dallas Cowboys in a series that dates back to 1977. Overall the Cowboys have won eight of 11 games during the regular season and both of the postseason meetings, which occurred in back-to-back years following the 1981 and 1982 seasons. Just three of the previous 11 regular season meetings between the two teams have been played in Tampa Bay with the Buccaneers holding an 2-1 edge at home. The last time the two teams met in Tampa, the Buccaneers won 16-0 during the 2003 season. Six of the last nine regular season meetings between the two clubs have been decided by five points or less.
MATCH UPS TO WATCH:
Donald Penn vs DeMarcus Ware: Last season, Ware led the NFL in sacks with 20, but was held sack less against Penn. Penn who is trying to show the rest of the NFL he’s more then a journeyman at left tackle will have a daunting task trying to keep Ware from feasting. This should be a key matchup for no other reason then the two have a history albeit it a brief one, but if Penn is victorious in his efforts it could mean the difference in Leftwich being able to scan the field a second or two longer for a receiver to come open.
Aqib Talib vs Roy Williams: Even before the cabbie incident, Talib was struggling in camp, now he most face a receiver that is out to prove he is worth every penny he received after being traded for last season. Williams, is nursing a sore shoulder, but the extent of the injury has been all over the map. This will be Talib’s first major test of the season.
Barrett Ruud vs Marion Barber: Barber a hard nosed north and south runner, looks for contact, should Barber be able to shake loose early, it could be a long game. But with a revamped interior in front of Ruud, it should allow Ruud to attack down hill more.
CB Michael Hamlin (wrist), LB Curtis Johnson (hamstring), LB Jason Williams (ankle)
QB Stephen McGee (knee)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS:
CB E.J. Biggers (shoulder)
TE John Gilmore (ankle), LB Adam Hayward (ankle)
DE Kyle Moore (groin)
WR Antonio Bryant (knee), WR Michael Clayton (hamstring), DT Ryan Sims (not injury related)
Cowboys Head Coach: Wade Phillips
Cowboys Offensive Coordinator: Jason Garrett
Cowboys Defensive Coordinator: Brian Stewart
Cowboys Special Teams Coach: Bruce Read
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS OFFENSE (2008)
OVERALL: 14th (341 ypg)
RUSHING: 15th (115 ypg)
PASSING: 11th (226 ypg)
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS DEFENSE (2008)
OVERALL: 9th (306 ypg)
RUSHING: 19th (118 ypg)
PASSING: 4th (187 ypg)
DALLAS COWBOYS OFFENSE (2008)
OVERALL: 13th (344 ypg)
RUSHING: 21st (108 ypg)
PASSING: 9th (237 ypg)
DALLAS COWBOYS DEFENSE (2008)
OVERALL: 8th (294 ypg)
RUSHING: 12th (107 ypg)
PASSING: 5th (188 ypg)
Buc Central’s Prognostication:
As always we are not advocating gambling based on our views of the game, especially considering we typically are inclined to make such educated guesses using are heart rather the any rational thought applied to picking. We are merely giving an opinion of who we think has the best chance at securing a victory.