The Dallas Cowboys play a football game this week, and like a season ago, Tom Brady and the Buccaneers are on the schedule for week one. Brady will roll into AT&T stadium with a high-powered passing attack that now includes Julio Jones in the mix.
Trevon Diggs and the rest of the crew for the Cowboys could be tested early Sunday. The WRs for Tampa Bay are similar to what the Cowboys saw a year ago. Although not what he once was, Brady now adds Jones into the pass-heavy offense; Chris Godwin looks like he is on track to play at least a limited number of snaps, and Mike Evans is still a problem for any team.
Takeaways are a big key to winning football games; no team in the league did that more than Dan Quinn and his defense in 2021. 26 of the 34 takeaways came via interceptions, and Diggs had 11 of them himself. Quinn returning for a second season as the Cowboys DC is a win for Dallas. The Cowboys played a lot of man-to-man coverage last season, so will this be a repeat, or how will Quinn look to attack a pass-heavy offense like the Bucs?
Quinn turned around the worst defense from 2020 and made them a top-10 a season ago. I would anticipate he already has those guys locked in and made it a point to empathize on how to correct any possible mistake made in the secondary from a year ago. Dallas returns all three starting corners from a season ago, Diggs, Anthony Brown, and Jourdan Lewis, and staying healthy was critical for them a season ago. Not one of those three players missed a game due to injury; that doesn't happen often.
I expect much of the same as a year ago, the DBs playing uptight and not giving anything ‘easy' to Brady and the weapons he has outside for his disposal. Look, I am not a coach, but if this takes place, guys like Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence can try to create pressure on an injury-plagued offensive line for Tampa, and if the blitz rate is adequate, it may give the Cowboys an edge playing tight man coverage. If Brady starts to pick this apart, nobody I trust more now than Quinn, he will try and find a solution that works.
Does anyone trust the defense's weakness last year by trying to let Leonard Fournette beat you running the football? They looked better in the preseason stopping the run, but these guys aren't what Dallas will see going forward. It will be another battle, and Dallas should try to use their strength from a season ago to play tight man coverage and see if your stars can speed up the Bucs' offense and keep the Cowboys in the game.