Cowboys vs Buccaneers NFL Wild Card Weekend: QB matchup | Dak Prescott vs Tom Brady
With the Wild Card Round curtain call, coming on Monday Night Football between the Cowboys and the Buccaneers, we’re taking a look at the key battle on the field between QBs Dak Prescott and Tom Brady.
There’s no doubt that there are plenty of topics that we could discuss when it comes to the Wild Card clash between the Cowboys and the Buccaneers. From who’s healthy and who’s not, to their head-to-head record and even the home field advantage that Tampa Bay will enjoy. Yet, in the end we all know that what we can’t avoid is the quarterback duel between Dallas’ Dak Prescott and the Bucs legendary Tom Brady.
Cowboys vs Buccaneers: The QB is Key
If we’re honest, with all of the variables that are in play in a game of football, it can often be quite unfair to observe the manner in which quarterbacks are weighed up. Indeed, the difference between winning and losing can often be determined by the most minute of details, such that to put the responsibility squarely on the arm of one man, just seems silly. With that said, there is no way to escape the idea that when the final whistle is blown in the first place that fans, coaches and analysts look is the signal caller.
Ultimately, what that means is for better or worse, the quarterbacks who are considered truly great are the ones who don’t just play exceptionally, but are able to do so even when they inevitably lose - you can’t win them all - and are then subjected to brutal critique. It’s the way you bounce back one might say. With that in mind, we now turn our attention to a massive game between the Cowboys and the Buccaneers. On Dallas’ side, it goes without saying that if ever there was a time they needed Dak Prescott to come good, it’s right here and now. Then, there is other guy. A player who needs no introduction, seven-time Super Bowl champion and the QB widely considered the GOAT, Tom Brady. Rest assured, whichever team gets the win on Monday night, it will undoubtedly be because one of these two men steps up to the plate.
It’s now or never for Dak Prescott
Here’s the thing: When you play for ‘America’s Team’ the measuring stick is a little different. For some that has been a blessing and for others, not so much. Where Dak Prescott is concerned, there is no doubt that the 29-year-old is one of the most talented QBs of his generation. Yet, there are many who look at Prescott as simply one of the quarterbacks that couldn’t cut it, while playing for the most recognizable team in the sport. If you ask us, that’s simply not true, but such is the way when playing for the Cowboys.
This of course brings us to what is at stake, a spot in the Divisional Round which in turn is hopefully - for the Cowboys - a step closer to winning a Super Bowl. Did we mention how hard that is? In truth, because of the nature of the game of football, one could argue that it’s one of the hardest championships to win in all of professional sports, due to the numerous variables involved in coordinating two separate teams - defense and offense - that ultimately function as one. None the less, this is all of course context albeit very important context. When all is said and done, Prescott comes into this contest with a problem that all QBs don’t want, interceptions. Across the season, the signal caller posted 15 INTs which is not good. On the other, prior to their Week 18 loss - a game that didn’t really matter - Prescott had thrown more than 249 passing yards in four games prior and in total, he’s done so in eight of 12 games this season. That’s not bad. Ultimately, Prescott is going to have to bring his A-game on Monday night.
Will Tom Brady’s legend continue to grow?
If you’re one of those folks who thinks that TB12′s best performances are behind him, we’d venture to say you’re naive. It’s playoff time and what that means is we can expect to see a different side of legendary QB. Regardless of what record they come into the post season with, it would be a mistake to believe that Brady isn’t about to turn up the heat. Add to that, the fact that he’s never lost to the Cowboys and you have not only the weight of his reputation but the head-to-head record as well.
In truth, the narrative that Brady is in decline, is simply that, a narrative. Where the truth is concerned, Tampa Bay’s signal caller is still putting up numbers that few can. With 733 attempts on the season, he’s once again the NFL’s leader for the second season running. That he made 14 more passes this year than last season, resulted in him finishing the campaign with an average of 276.1 yards per game. If you’re wondering, that was a 36.6 yards-per-game less. That definitely sounds like decline to us. In total, Brady played eight games in which he threw below 275 passing yards, including the Week 1 game against the said-same Cowboys where he finished with 212. This is all to say, that if this has been a below par season for Brady, it’s worth noting that his stats are still better than most. Just saying.
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