Gut Sense: Employee Expectations for Cowboys-Bucs

Once again, a new football season has arrived.

The 9/11 season opener has finally arrived, and the staff has been referring to this game since it appeared on the schedule in May — a rematch from the first week’s battle with Poké in 2021.

Here we are again, as the Cowboys now face Tom Brady at home in a season-opening battle.

The staff gives their “gut feeling” for this first week of a bout between the Bucs and the Cowboys.

Rob Phillips: The atmosphere around this game is much different than it was a year ago when Dak Prescott and Tom Brady combined for 782 yards and seven touchdowns. Both teams seem to have more question marks about attack than defense this year. For Dallas, it’s well-documented: inexperience in the offensive line, particularly on the left tackle, and a broad receiving force exhausted. It may take some time to sort. Meanwhile, I look forward to seeing the Cowboys’ defense fly against the greatest player of all time. Tom Brady is still Tom Brady, even with a few changes to Tampa Bay’s offensive line and receiver depth chart. But there’s also real confidence about the Cowboys’ defense – belief in their speed, depth and scheme. I’ll take the Cowboys into a more defensive fight this time around, around 20-17.

Patrick Walker: Yes, the Cowboys have glaring question marks both on the receiver and left from Zack Martin in their offensive line, but given that the Buccaneers lost two starters on the O line – the Pro Bowler at Ali Marpet and also Alex Cappa – they are now two zeros in a league start American football, i.e. rookie second-round pick Luke Goedeke and second-year center Robert Hainsey. They could also be without speed driver Chris Goodwin and/or slot threat Russell Gage, leveling the playing field in Dallas’ favour. This game will start to take effect, much like it did in the first week of the 2021 season. The Cowboys offense should get iconic, but their insanely talented defense has personnel and a coordinator capable of delivering a bad day for Tom Brady, and I think they will. I’ll take the Cowboys, 28-21.

Nick Itman: I’m not 100 percent sure what I think about the Cowboys this season as a whole, but for this game, I think they’re going to take over their business. And with that, I think they’ve been controlling this game from the start. Honestly, getting an early lead would benefit both teams, but I think the Cowboys will start quickly — something that didn’t happen in a playoff loss to the 49ers in January. This cowboy defense, with Micah Parsons in flight, is ready to take off. I think Parsons is going to give Tom Brady some trouble and the pair will have trouble trying to block the middle. The Cowboys are going to get some twists — KaVontae Turpin will play a big role in attack and special teams and I feel like we’ll see Noah Brown do a lot of post-game interviews, maybe after seven times, an 85-day yard and a touchdown. Overall, the Cowboys would walk out the gate with a big win. I’ll have Dallas, 31-14 after they pulled out in the fourth quarter.

Kyle Yeomans: With so many questions up front for both offensive lines, any defense with the best passing speed would have a high chance of winning on Sunday night. It’s hard to argue that the Dallas defense, with so many weapons Dan Quinn could choose from, wouldn’t take advantage early on in the Tampa Bay front. Getting off to a quick start would be essential, but I think Dallas will do just that. Micah Parsons brings the added element of defense that Tampa never had a chance to defend last season. The Cowboys gave me sloppy game and defensive control, and a 19-17 win over the Bucs to open the season.

Spanish Mickey: Wear big boy bandages for these bold predictions. Just know when you watch the season opener that #9 will be there rookie Ka’Vontae Turpin and watch out for Turpin Time. Maybe not like a returning guy, because Tampa Bay will definitely consider his ability after what he did in a pre-season game against the Charger. But the main reason he was named USFL MVP this year is because of his production as a wide receiver, earning 44 passes for 540 yards and four touchdowns, with 316 of those yards gained after the catch. And because he made his presence known, the Cowboys won, and the Cowboys won, 23-21.