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DAL 31, TB 14: Cowboys defeat Bucs for 1st playoff road win since the 1992 season

Coming into tonight's game, the hadn't won a road playoff game since the 1992 season. was a perfect 7-0 against the Cowboys during his career. Even Dallas had a of blowing huge leads against Tom Brady when he was of the

History did not favor the possibility of a Dallas victory, but tonight, the Cowboys were the better team. 

1st half

The Bucs were shut out in the first half. The Cowboys scored three touchdowns, but missed three extra points. Dallas ended the first half with an 18-0 lead

3rd quarter

The Buccaneers received the ball to start the 2nd half, but the Cowboys quickly forced a three-and-out.

The Cowboys took over on their own 14-yard line. A pass to and a run by brought them to the 40-yard line in just 24 seconds. On 3rd & 4, a 26-yard pass to brought them to the Tampa Bay 28-yard line. 

A holding call against Tampa Bay gave the Cowboys 5 extra yards. Then, an 18-yard run up the sideline by put the Cowboys at 1st and goal on the Tampa Bay 4-yard line.

The Cowboys scored their fourth touchdown of the night with a pass from Prescott to in the back of the end zone. The play went under review, because Gallup stepped just out of bounds before the catch. The touchdown was upheld, because a defender tipped it before Gallup ultimately took possession. Brett Maher missed a fourth extra point. DAL 24, TB 0.

The Bucs got the ball back with 10:04 left in the 3rd quarter. After eight plays, they were forced to punt for the fifth time during this contest. 

Tampa Bay's first points of the night came at the end of the 3rd quarter. The Bucs ended a 10-play, 95-yard drive with a touchdown. Their attempted 2-point conversion failed. DAL 25, TB 6.

4th quarter

Dallas took possession at the start of the 4th quarter and showed no signs of slowing down. Tony Pollard was responsible for 33 of the 58 yards that brought the Cowboys into the . On 4th & 4 from the Tampa Bay 18-yard line, Dallas opted not to attempt a field goal. Instead, Dak Prescott made a pass to CeeDee Lamb who found himself all alone with an easy path to jog into the end zone. Brett Maher made his first extra point of the night. DAL 32, TB 6.

Tampa Bay's following possession started off well. They made it all the way to Dallas' 2-yard line after nine plays, but then the Cowboys defense turned up the heat. They pressured Brady into two consecutive incomplete passes, sacked him at the 11-yard line, then forced another incomplete pass. The Bucs turned the ball over on downs. 

After a Cowboys three-and-out, the Bucs took over at midfield with 4:43 left in the 4th quarter. On the eighth play of that drive, Tampa Bay receiver Russel Gage was injured and had to be carted off the field. 

Once play resumed, Tampa Bay found the end zone after three more plays. They competed a 2-point conversion to get within 17 points of the Cowboys. DAL 31, TB 14.

With 2:04 left in the game, Tampa Bay recovered an onside kick and got the ball back on their own 49-yard line. They made it to the Dallas 39-yard line, but Brady was sacked by on the following play. On 4th & 6 at the Dallas 35-yard line, Brady was unable to connect with . The Bucs turned the ball over on downs. 

Dak Prescott and the Dallas offense took possession of the ball for the final time with 1:08 left in the 4th quarter on their own 35-yard line. Players on the field were visibly excited as they went into victory formation.  Dak kneeled twice, and the game ended with the Cowboys victorious. 

Game Notes

With this win, Dak Prescott followed his worst statistical performance of the season with one of his best performances of the season. 

Dak achieved a season high of 143.3. His four touchdowns tonight (five if you count his rushing TD) were also the most he'd scored in a game this season. 

The Cowboys will now face the in the next round of the next Sunday. 

Jazz Monet
Jazz Monet
Sports culture analyst. Sports competition enthusiast. Host of Bitches Love Sports podcast. Personal trainer. Roller derby athlete and trainer.

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