Buccaneers — 3-3-14-0–20
Cowboys — 0-17-0-9–26
The Buccaneers turned the ball over three times on the road Sunday night, but still had two chances late in the fourth quarter to steal a victory on the road. Both chances were interrupted by the Cowboys pass rush, and Dallas defended their turf with a 26-20 victory.
Pass-rushing specialist David Irving made a name for himself on the national stage, as he was virtually unblockable in the fourth quarter. That disrupted Jameis Winston, who torched the Cowboys in the third quarter but couldn’t muster one final drive.
The Cowboys were once again led by Ezekiel Elliot, who finished with 159 yards and the game’s first TD. He celebrated by jumping into a giant Salvation Army donation bucket, and his performance could see him jump into the MVP discussion.
Scroll down for game stats and highlights:
Cowboys Running Clock At The Two-Minute Warning
Ezekiel Elliot is making a case for MVP on the national stage. He is carrying defenders on almost every play, and the Cowboys need one first down to close this out. He eclipses 150 yards rushing on the drive, but the Cowboys are forced to punt one last time.
Witten Fumbles But The Bucs Don’t Capitalize
After turning the ball over three times, Kwon Alexander gets Tampa’s first turnover of the night. He pops Jason Witten to knock the ball free, and gives Winston and the offense great field position. Winston and the offense go three and out, but pin the Cowboys at their own four yard line.
Winston’s Second Turnover Puts Dallas Back Ahead
David Irving got the pressure that forced Winston’s errant throw, but the Cowboys couldn’t fully capitalize. Prescott had completed a pass to Dunbar for a TD, but the play was called back for holding. The end result is Dan Bailey’s second field goal of the night.
Buccaneers Retake The Lead
Cameron Brate showed impressive hands on the latest Bucs TD drive, hauling in a long grab early in the drive and capping it with a TD catch. Winston has been electric in the third quarter, making throws from all over the field. We’ve got a game.
Jameis Starts Second Half Strong
The Bucs go 75 yards in eight plays to start the second half, and Winston hits Humphries from 42 yards out to pull within one score. Great adjustment from Humphries, but a ridiculous throw from Winston.
Dak Prescott had a strong first half and the Cowboys lead the Bucs 17-6 at halftime.
Prescott has completed passes to eight different receivers, piling up nearly 200 passing yards in the process. Elliot has four carries for 48 yards, and Darren McFadden has had a few nice touches in his first action of the season.
The Bucs started with a field goal to open the scoring, but a turnover from Jameis Winston turned the momentum early. The Bucs have had a hard time on defense, but Winston moved the ball well on his last drive of the second quarter.
Tampa Bay will get the ball to start the second half.
Dak Walks In For Another Dallas TD
The Cowboys are 5-7 on third down to start the game, and Prescott has completed passes to eight different receivers. He caps off another TD drive with a shotgun draw, taking advantage of a massive hole made by his line.
Zeke Jumps In The Salvation Army Bucket
Ezekiel Elliot is the first in the endzone with his 13th rushing TD of the season. He was flagged for an excessive celebration penalty.
Jameis Starts His Second Drive With a Turnover
Winston is stripped on the first play of the drive, giving Dallas great field position. They go 14 yards in five plays for the games first TD, and the Bucs defense has no answers thus far.
Strong Running Puts Tampa Up First
After a long field goal attempt by Dan Bailey fell short, the Bucs took advantage of the short field. Martin carried five times for 19 yards, and the Bucs knocked in a short field goal to open the scoring.
Final pregame thought: this is the Cowboys’ fourth straight primetime game, dating back to Thanksgiving. On the opposite sideline, this is the biggest game in Tampa’s history in a few years, and their first primetime appearance since Week 9. It’ll be interesting if the adrenaline rush that comes with the national game has faded for Dallas, and whether that is a positive or a negative against a young Bucs team.
Stats will be updated throughout the game
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Passing: Winston: 17/35, 247 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT
Rushing: Martin: 16 carries, 42 yards
Receiving: Brate: 5 catches, 73 yards, TD
Passing: Prescott: 32/36, 279 yards, Rush TD
Rushing: Elliot: 23 carries, 159 yards, TD
Receiving: Bryant: 8 catches, 82 yards
The Dallas Cowboys head home after their second loss of the season, ending Sunday’s action against the streaking Buccaneers.
Tampa Bay have won five straight games, two coming against teams heading towards the playoffs. They’ve been doing it with defense, but face a tough test against the Cowboys top-ranked offensive line. The Bucs have held opponents under 20 points in four of five games on the streak, and meet the Cowboys offense at their lowest point of the season.
The Cowboys had their 11-game winning streak snapped by the Giants last week, and the praise on QB Dak Prescott has cooled. He’s been held under 200 yards passing in three straight games, and that lack of balance has hurt the offense.
With their streak, the Bucs have thrust themselves into the NFC Wild Card chase. A win would give them some breathing room for the NFC’s final playoff spot, where they currently sit a half-game ahead of the Packers.