Cowboys 31-14 Buccaneers, Prescott leads Cowboys to Divisional Game, summary: score, stats, highlights | NFL Wild Card Playoffs
Cowboys defeat Buccaneers: As it happened
Cowboys destroy Brady and the Bucs, advance to Divisional Round
The Cowboys looked good on nearly every front tonight against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as they pulled off a dominant 31-14 win on the road to send Brady and the Bucs home.
Give Cowboys credit
Dak Prescott looked flawless with four touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown and no interceptions. The run game was excellent with TonyPollard leading with 15 carries and 77 yards. The receivers were on point, with both CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup getting a touchdown and tight end Dalton Schultz making two. Oh, and let's not forget - they beat Brady for the first time ever. The only thing they didn’t do right was Brett Maher, who inexplicably missed four PATs in a row and made just one extra point.
Bucs looked rough
For as well as the Cowboys played, the Buccaneers played perhaps as bad. Yet not different from how they played in the regular season. I mean, they were under .500, the only team with a losing record in the playoffs. They were completely shut out in the first half and only managed to get two scores in the second half. Brady looked his age for the first time this season, and if this was truly his last game, it will be a rough way for him to end his career. He ended the game with 35 of 66 completions for 351 yards, two touchdown passes, one interception in the red zone (his first since 2019), and two sacks. The offense went absolutely nowhere.
Cowboys move on to face Niners
The Cowboys will face the San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional Round next week. They will play on Sunday, January 23 at 6:30 p.m. ET at Levi’s Stadium.
The Dallas Cowboys gave him ample opportunity, but Brett Maher just couldn’t seem to put it through the uprights, setting an ignominious NFL record.
END GAME: COWBOYS WIN!
And the Cowboys let the clock run out and they are heading to the Divisional Round to face the 49ers!
Brady pass incomplete to Jones, Dallas gets the ball back on downs
Bucs take 2nd timeout
Brady to Jones complete for 12 yards, 4th and 6
Brady SACKED by Armstrong and Parsons, 3rd and 18
Buccaneers take 1st timeout
Brady pass too high, Vander Esch tackles Otton, incomplete
Otton gets 12 yards and the 1st down, clock ticking with under 2 minutes
Brady tries a deep pass to Evans and it was close, but it's incomplete
The Buccaneers just scored a touchdown and 2-point conversion. Camarda kicked onside and the Cowboys couldn't recover it. Bucs' Bernard recoverred it and it'll be Tampa Bay's ball with 2 minutes left in the game. Dallas is up by 17.
Onside kick is RECOVERED by BUCCANEERS' Bernard
Brady to Jones pass CAUGHT for 5 yards and the 1st down
Play is back in action.
Brady pass complete to Jones for 5 yards, 4th and 3 and they'l go for it cause why not?
Gage has been put onto a backboard and helped off the field on the cart.
You really hate to see this kind of thing happen. We are hoping for the best for Russell Gage.
Gage is still down on the field. He had a hit to the neck that looks like it is the problem. Players from both sides are on their knees around him. We hope he's going to be okay. Assistance is coming to help him off the field.
A second incomplete pass to Gage who fell down and is now down on the field
Brady pass behind Gage, incomplete
White takes it up 7 yards for the 1st down at the Cowboys 19
Brady incomplete to Godwin, 3rd and 1
Brady to Evans complete for 9 yards, 2nd and 1
White gets 8 yards for the 1st down
Dallas' Armstrong who was hurt earlier is down on the field again
Brady dropped the snap, got it back and away but lost 6 yards, 3rd and 7
White up the middle for 9 yards, 2nd and 1
Thompkins takes it back 14 yards to the Bucs 48
Elliott for 2, then a deep pass incomplete to Hilton and Cowboys are already at 4th down and will punt it right back to the Bucs
Elliott, no gain, 2nd and 10
Bucs go for it on 4th and goal and Brady is nearly sacked again, this time by Golston, but he gets it away so it's ruled incomplete. Dallas will get the ball back on downs.
Brady SACKED by Hankins for a loss of 9, 4th and goal
And another incomplete pass, 3rd and goal at the Cowboys 2
Brady throws into the end zone, incomplete, 2nd and goal
Another 14-yard completion to Otton brings Bucs to 1st and goal
Brady to Otton for 16 yards, plus a pass to Jones for 6 yards to the Dallas 16
Ruling was reversed, officials call it a catch, 1st down Bucs at the Cowboys 37
Brady to Evans, he leaps up to catch it for 13 yards but it's ruled incomplete. It definitely looks like a catch though, so the Bucs are challenging it.
Brady to Evans for 13 yards and another 1st down, they are determined to get down the field. Under 9 minutes to go and clock is ticking.
Brady to Godwin for 7 yards again, they get the 1st down
Brady to Godwin for 7, but Parsons is all over him on the next play, incomplete. 3rd and 3.
The Cowboys were held to 4th and 4 and rather than trusting Maher to make a field goal (smart), McCarthy had them go for it. It was the right call. Prescott passed to Lamb who was wide open down field and he basically strolled into the end zone with it, 18 yards. Maher FINALLY made the PAT to make it a 25-point lead with 10:13 to go in the game.
Maher actually gets the extra point this time! Hey, you did your one job. *clap clap*
At 4th and 4, Prescott passes WIDE OPEN to Lamb and it's a TOUCHDOWN COWBOYS!!!!
Pollard gets 5, not enough for the 1st down. They will go for it rather than trusting Maher and I SAY GOOD CALL
Elliott gets just a yard, and the next play Prescott is under pressure, brings Cowboys to 3rd and 9
Pollard takes it up 11 yards for another 1st down!
Prescott pass to Gallup complete for 12 yards and the 1st down!
Pollard takes it up 5, but then loses a yard on a tackle by Nassib to put Cowboys at 3rd and 6
Prescott pass complete to Brown, takes it up 15 yards for the 1st down and then some
Turpin takes it back 35yards after the return to the Cowboys 34
Brady pass to wide open Evans for 17 yards and the 1st down
Brady pass incomplete to Godwin, knocked away by Mukuamu, 3rd and 7
Another Dallas defender is hurt. Armstrong is taken off the field.
Gage gets 3 yards, 2nd and 7
Brady to Gage for 7, then Brady to Jones for another 7 and another 1st down. Is he making the comeback here?
Brady to Godwin for 16yards and another 1st down
Brady makes the pass to White and he takes it up for an 11-yard gain and 1st down
Brady's pass batted down by Parsons, 3rd and 7
Kearse goes off the field for the Cowboys, that's a key player for them on defense
Brady to White for 3 yards, 2nd and 7
Prescott throws it away, 4th down and 5
Pollard for 3, then 2 and Cowboys are at 3rd and 5
Prescott to Schultz for 4 more yards and the 1st down
Elliott picks up another 3, Prescott pass to Schultz complete just short of the 1st, 3rd down and 1
Elliott takes it 4, then 9 - 1st down Dallas
Bucs punt it back and Turpin hangs on to the ball after being hit by McCollum
Brady in trouble, he throws another incomplete pass, 4th down
Brady throws another NEAR pick by Kearse, but he doesn't make the catch. Incomplete, 3rd and 10.
Bucs get down to the 29, 2nd and 10
After the review, officials are saying the runner was NOT down by contact, and the play was REVERSED.
After the play, PersonalFoul on Bucs
Play under review
Brady's pass FUMBLED, recovered by DALLAS' Malik Hooker, he runs it back but there's a flag on the play...
Fournette gets 1 yard, then an incomplete pass takes Bucs to 3rd and 9 real quick
Maher misses his fourth in a row.... YIKES.
WHY don't the Cowboys listen to me??
The ruling on the field stands, TOUCHDOWN!
**If it does stand, I also stand by what I said....just go for two. Their chances at this point of getting two are better than getting one from Maher.
Gallup could have maybe been out of bound before he made the catch, so the play is under review. Very hard to say. Ruling on the field was a touchdown, but let's see if it stands.
Elliott takes it up 2 yards inside the 3, 2nd and goal
Pollard stays in bounds, takes it 18yards to set up 1st and goal!
Pollard gets a yard, but Bucs' Gholston gets a Holding call, 5 yards, 1st down Cowboys
Okay, Cowboys, if you make it into the end zone here, just GO FOR TWO.
Prescott passes deep to wide open Lamb and it is CAUGHT for 26yards!
Prescott scrambles for 5, Pollard picks up 1, 3rd and 4
Cowboys back on offense, and it's a deep pass to Schultz. He bobbles it but makes the catch! 26 yard gain!
And we're back!
Tampa Bay is on offense to start off the 2nd half. Brady passes to White for 6 followed by two incomplete passes, Bucs go 3 and out to start off the half.
The Cowboys have dominated the first half, making three touchdowns and holding the Bucs to 0. Despite that, kicker Brett Maher has missed all three of his extra point attempts, which makes 3 points missed overall. If this game ends up being decided by 3 and Cowboys lose...he's going to have a rough time. For now, the Cowboys are on a roll. They'll have to keep up the momentum in the second half though. Brady is the comeback king and he's sure to be maaaaad right about now.
And it's 18-0 Dallas at halftime after three TDs and three missed extra points.
Defenders ALL OVER Brady, and he throws it away to end the half
Brady pass incomplete to Evans, 2nd down at the 50
Cowboys take final timeout
Bucs take final timeout
Brady pass complete to Otton for 17 yards to the 50 and the 1st down
Brady pass incomplete, 3rd and 2
Bucs take 2nd timeout
Brady to White for a gain of 8, 2nd and 2
Schultz gets 6, 2nd down and 4 at the Bucs 11
And another big catch for 12 yards to Gallup!
Prescott pass deep to Lamb for 20yards and the 1st down!
Dallas gets Delay of Game penalty. Oops. Sets them back 5. 2nd and 15.
Prescott pass incomplete to Elliott, 2nd down
Prescott scrambles, gets 10 yards and the 1st down
Cowboys' Peters injured on the play, McGovern comes in to take over at tackle
Prescott under pressure, gets the ball away just before being taken down by Nuñez-Roches, incomplete, 3rd and 6
Buccaneers take 1st timeout
Prescott to Lamb for 4 yards, 2nd and 6
Prescott to Hilton complete for 9 yards
That brings us to the 2-minute warning. The Cowboys are up 12-0 over the Bucs. They have the ball at their own 40 after a 20-yard catch by Dalton Schultz. 1st and 10.
Prescott pass deep to Schultz, wide open for 20yards to the Cowboys 40
Elliott gets the 1st down on a gain of 2
Punt team coming on for the Bucs
Brady to Godwin complete for 10 yards but it's short, 4th and 3
Vander Esch put the pressure on Brady, incomplete, 3rd and 13 Bucs
Fournette got the 1st down but on the next play he's tackled by Odighizuwa for a loss of 3, 2nd and 13
Godwin takes it up 9 for the Bucs, 2nd and 1
The Cowboys went for it on 4th down and it was Prescott who kept the ball after the fake and ran it in 1 yard! Incredibly, Maher's extra point was missed AGAIN. He is having an off night tonight, ouch. But the Cowboys lead by 12 with 6:13 to go in the 2nd quarter.
Elliott tries to take it in but he's pushed back for no gain, 4th and goal. Will McCarthy go for it??
Prescott takes it up juuuuust short to the 1, 3rd and goal
Pollard is able to get back up to the 6, 2nd and goal
Pollard takes it up 5 yards, but Schultz is called for Holding, sets them back 10 yards
Prescott to rookie Ferguson complete and he takes it down 35yards, tackled just short of the end zone!
Prescott to wide open Hilton complete for a gain of 14! 1st down
Pollard stopped by White for a loss of 1, another 3rd down and long for the Cowboys
Prescott scrambles for 3 yards, 2nd and 7, making down the field a few yards at a time here
Prescott pass quick to Pollard for 5 yards and the 1st down
Elliott takes it up again another 3 yards, 3rd and 3
Prescott pass complete to Gallup for 4 yards, 2nd and 6
Elliott takes it up 3, enough for the 1st down
Elliott gets no gain on the 1st try, but 9 on the second, 3rd and 1 Dallas
And the Cowboys are back on offense after Tom Brady makes his first red zone interception since 2019
And now it IS INTERCEPTED by Kearse IN THE ENDZONE!!
Brady makes a quick pass but it's batted away, nearly picked by Parsons, 2nd and goal
END 1ST QUARTER
And that'll take us to the end of the 1st quarter.
Dallas is in the lead with 6 points but Tampa Bay is creeping up on them. They've just made it to 1st and goal on a trick play that got them 11 yards.
Brady makes a Mahomes move, makes the fake, tosses it sideways to Godwin, he takes it 11 yards to 1st and goal
Brady to Godwin for 6, 3rd and 4
Brady throws into the end zone, but Wilson gets a hand on it to bat it away, incomplete, 2nd down
Brady to Evans for 12 yards to the Dallas 22 for the 1st down
Dallas takes 1st timeout
Brady under pressure by Parsons, passes too short, incomplete, 3rd and 6
Four for Fournette inside the 35, 2nd and 6
Another big gain for the Bucs! White takes it up 12 yards for another Bucs 1st down. Things are moving, yet!
Brady pass complete to Godwin for 11yards and the 1st down at the 50
Brady set up a screen but pass was knocked down by Watkins, 2nd down
Brady under pressure gets the ball away at the last second to White and he is able to take it up 11 yards on Dallas' 3-man rush, gets a much-needed 1st down for Tampa Bay.
White gets a short gain of 4 after running into a wall led by Parsons, 3rd and long Bucs
Barr is alllllll over Godwin for a loss of 1 yard, 2nd and 11 Bucs
Pollard takes it again but gets no gain, 2nd and 10
Pollard finds the hole, breaks through for a gain of 18 yards to the Bucs 22 and the 1st down
Prescott's pass to Brown came under pressure for a gain of 3, but the Bucs' Hicks was called for Roughing the Passer, so the Cowboys get the automatic 1st down.
And they can! Prescott passes high to Gallup and he leaps up to make the grab and stay in bounds, 15yards, 1st down. Now we're getting somewhere.
Pollard gets 5, let's see if the Cowboys can get past that here...
Fournette takes it up just 3 before he's tackled by VanderEsch, 3rd and 5 Bucs
Brady pass incomplete, batted away by Kearse, 4th down Bucs yet again
Brady to Evans for 2 yards, 2nd and 8. Exciting game we have here tonight!
Thompson takes the punt return back 10 yards
Prescott SACKED by Vea for a loss of 9 yards, another 3 and out
Pollard finally gets some positive yardage on this field, gets 5 yards, 3rd and 7
Elliott takes it but he's stopped by Edwards and Hicks for a loss of 2, 2nd and 12
Turpin tried to take it back but only made it 8 yards, taken down by Bernard
And so the Bucs go 3 and out as well, Cowboys get the ball back again
Brady is under pressure and his pass is incomplete, plus they get a Holding call on Smith (declined, result of the play)
White tried to take it up but Parsons said NOPE, he got right to him for a loss of 3, 2nd and 13 Bucs
Brady tosses another incomplete pass to Gage, 3rd and 13
3 and out Cowboys
And a third incomplete, this time to Hilton, to bring the Cowboys to 3 and out to start the game. That took all of 13 seconds. Womp womp.
Andddd a second incomplete to Lamb brings Dallas to 3rd down already
Prescott takes the field after the touchback and his first pass is an incomplete to Lamb.
Tampa won the toss, elected to defer and it's the Cowboys on offense to start us off. Let's go!
"I think Dallas has the firepower. The last thing Tampa can afford [is] to get into a shootout and I think Dallas has the ability, if they play like they’re capable of playing, they have the ability to kind of really put pressure on Tampa early in the game.
But the longer the game goes and it’s close and it’s in the fourth quarter, I think that begins to favor Tampa Bay even more.”
Cowboys vs Buccaneers top matchups to watch
There are so many storylines in this matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys. With so many stars and talented athletes, let's take a look at some of the best matchups to keep an eye on tonight.
QB Dak Prescott vs QB Tom Brady
Let's start with the obvious - the quarterback battle between Brady and Prescott. Of course, the quarterbacks don't literally play against each other, but this game will very much come down to which one can outplay the other. Prescott's season has been full of amazing moments but also an interception problem. Brady is Brady, but this season has been his first-ever losing one and he's also made some costly turnovers. Which one will be able to get the points on the board and keep the ball out of the opposing defense's hands more? Whatever the answer, that's who's winning this game.
WR Mike Evans vs CB Trevon Diggs
Diggs is one of Dallas' best defenders, and yet in Week 1 when they last met, it was Evans who got the best of him. Diggs will most definitely be out for revenge tonight. It's been a long season and things have changed since that day in September. Though Diggs may be splitting his time covering Evans and Godwin, Diggs vs Evans is the one to watch.
LB Micah Parsons vs OT Tristan Wirfs
Another of Dallas' and the NFL's best defenders is Micah Parsons. But Wirfs is one of the best offensive tackles in the league. Parsons was Defensive Rookie of the Year last year by a unanimous vote. Wirfs is a two-time Pro Bowler. This is a must-watch matchup.
Widely expected to retire at the end of this season, Tom Brady’s career hangs on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ hopes against the Dallas Cowboys.
Good evening everyone and welcome to our live text coverage of the NFL Wild Card matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers!
Kickoff is at 4:15 p.m. ET from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. We will be right here with you bringing you the latest stats, scores, updates, highlights, and commentary as the Cowboys and Bucs conclude the NFL Wild Card Weekend.
Cowboys vs Bucs: How did they get here?
Let's talk about these two teams. They opened the regular season against each other and the Cowboys lost in embarrassing fashion. Not only that, but their quarterback Dak Prescott broke his thumb and was ruled out for the next five weeks. Even before he left the game though, Prescott and the Cowboys were not looking good against Tampa Bay.
How did the Bucs and Cowboys get to the playoffs?
Things changed direction after that though. Things got better for Dallas and worse for the Buccaneers. It's been quarterback Tom Brady's worse season ever and the Bucs o-line and receivers are not doing him many favors. He was outperformed by quarterbacks P.J. Walker, Kenny Pickett, and Mitchell Trubisky in the span of just two weeks. They lost three of their last five games and finished the season at 8-9. The Bucs are the only team in the playoffs with a losing record (and just the sixth in NFL history to do so).
The Cowboys, on the other hand, after having everyone convinced their season was already in the toilet after Game 1, went on to win four games in a row with their backup quarterback Cooper Rush. After Prescott returned in Week 7, the Cowboys went 8-3, winning six of their last eight games to finish the regular season with a 12-5 record.
FINAL INJURY REPORT: Cowboys vs Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Injury Report
Nine of the players the Bucs sat in the regular season finale due to various injuries will be active for today's Wild Card game against the Cowboys, including CB CarltonDavis, S MikeEdwards, LB CarlNassib, S LoganRyan and DT VitaVea.
As we mentioned earlier, C Ryan Jensen was activated from IR and is expected to play for the first time all season. They also put left tackle Donovan Smith back on the active list, but will be without G Nick Leverett who suffered a knee and shoulder injury in Week 18.
· WR Breshad Perriman
· G Nick Leverett
· S Keanu Neal
· TE Kyle Rudolph
· QB Kyle Trask
Dallas Cowboys Injury Report
CB TrayvonMullen was ruled out for today due to an illness, but he's only played in one game for the Cowboys since they claimed him in December anyway.
They activated DT JohnathanHankins from IR after he recovered from a pectoral injury. C TylerBiasasz and LB LeightonVanderEsch are also active after recovering from injuries. They also elevated two players from the practice squad: OT AvianteCollins and CB XavierRhodes.
· DT Quinton Bohanna
· LB Jabril Cox
· DT Neville Gallimore
· QB Will Grier
· CB Trayvon Mullen
· WR Jalen Tolbert
· CB Nahshon Wright
So who is winning, Cowboys or Bucs?
It’s difficult to pick a winner here for me. My instincts tell me the Cowboys are losing and their 20-point loss to the lowly Commanders to finish the season is not helping their case for me. Neither is the fact that they haven’t won a playoff game on the road since 1992. Nor that Tom Brady has won all seven games he’s played against the Cowboys.
And yet, on paper, the Cowboys are the better team. But we know that “on paper” tells lies sometimes. And yet, the Cowboys are the favorites and the Buccaneers have been completely inconsistent and haven’t managed to win two games in a row all season. AND YET, Brady has played in the most playoff games (47), won the most playoff games (35), played in the most Super Bowls (10), won the most Super Bowls (7), has the most passing yards in the playoffs (13,049), and the most touchdown passes (86) of any other NFL player in history. AND YET, the Bucs finished dead last in the league in team rushing with just 1,308 rushing yards (76.9 per game) this season. And yet, and yet, and yet.
I have a hard time betting on or against the Cowboys. They are just too inconsistent. But they do not have a great track record in the playoffs. In conclusion: I have no idea who is winning, but I am excited to watch the fight between Brady and America's Team.
Ryan Jensen active ahead of Wild Card game vs Cowboys
The Buccaneers activated center Ryan Jensen from Injured Reserve.
Jensen has been on IR with a knee injury since September 1 and it was a big loss for the Bucs' offense. But now it looks like he is likely to be back in the lineup against the Cowboys. We will post the full inactives list before the game start.