The 2021 NFL Schedule Release will take place on Wednesday at 8 pm ET. Of course, per the usual, leaks of the schedule are already floating around, and one of the biggest involves the league’s most popular team, the Dallas Cowboys.
America’s Team will get their opportunity to make a statement early in a redemption season so to speak as they will hit the road to take on the defending Super Bowl champions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 9.
Adam Schefter on Twitter: “Cowboys at Buccaneers in regular-season opener: pic.twitter.com/NRko1gZMST / Twitter”
Cowboys at Buccaneers in regular-season opener: pic.twitter.com/NRko1gZMST
This matchup has everything you want in it as a football fan. The Buccaneers are coming off of an improbable run to their second world title. They hadn’t been to the playoffs since 2007 and hadn’t won a postseason game since their first title in 2002, and they did so in Tom Brady’s first season with the team.
The motivation for the Buccaneers will be the chance to become the NFL’s first repeat champion since the 2004 New England Patriots, ironically led by the aforementioned Brady. With all of their priority free agents back on board, the Buccaneers will be the team to beat in the NFC until proven otherwise.
For the Cowboys, it starts with the return of Dak Prescott. After his near franchise-record performance of 4,902 yards and a career-high 30 passing touchdowns in 2019, he was on pace to shatter those numbers last season before his season-ending ankle injury. Prescott got his lucrative long-term deal and will be looking to validate it off the bat against Brady, who most consider being the best quarterback of all time.
Ezekiel Elliott had a career-low in rushing yards, yard per carry, and rushing touchdowns in 2020. He had a career-high in fumbles (6) as well. The former two-time rushing champion will be looking to get his reputation back as one of the league’s top runners.
The Cowboys defense will have a huge spotlight on them as well. The 473 points they allowed were the worst in team history and they finished 31st against the run in 2020. After a big infusion of defensive talent in the NFL Draft (selected eight players) and a new defensive coordinator in Dan Quinn, the Cowboys can only get better on that side of the ball.
If the NFL wanted to make a splash, which they also do, there’s no better way to start the 2021 season than with the Buccaneers and the Cowboys.