Dallas Cowboys @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wildcard preview

The Super Wildcard round ends on Monday Night Football when the Dallas Cowboys travel to Raymond James Stadium in south Florida to face the 8-9 Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

An asterix should be next to the Bucs’ final loss in week 18 as they had already clinched the NFC South and started resting key players in the second half, after leading the Atlanta Falcons at half-time. They were on a two-game winning streak prior to this.

Whereas the Dallas Cowboys had an outside shot at winning the NFC East going into week 18 but lost 6-26 to an already eliminated Washington Commanders. They finished the season with a respectable 12-5 though.

It’s worth noting that Dallas struggled against good teams – losing to Tampa Bay, Green Bay and Philadelphia. They did beat the Eagles 40-34 in week 16 but that was without Jalen Hurts. They did beat the Cincinnati Bengals 20-17 in week 2 but the opponents’ offensive line was horrid at the time. Otherwise, congratulations on beating the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans.

At no point this season have I expected the Cowboys to go far in the playoffs, but they have been handed a favourable wildcard tie in an 8-9 opposition who have been hot and cold in games this season. Shoud Dallas progress they won’t get past the Divisional Round I’ll assure you of that.

And I don’t think they will beat the Buccaneers anyway. Their defence matches up well in week 1, beat Dallas 19-3 at AT&T Stadium. Tom Brady put up 30 points versus the Carolina Panthers and 23 versus Cincinnati in the final weeks of the season. The Cowboys gave up 26 to Washington, 34 to Gardner Minshew II and 40 to Jacksonville in the closing weeks of the regular season.

What is the Cowboys @ Buccaneers money line?

The visiting Dallas Cowboys are -3.0 point favourites to win at Raymond James and 4/6 on the money line.

Dallas @ Tampa Bay pick

I am going with the underdog Tampa Bay in this one. Tom Brady’s experience, the Buccaneers’ receivers, their defence, versus a Dallas side that have been defending woefully for the past month or so and a quarterback I am not sold on. That’s even before we consider how the Cowboys choke in the playoffs this millennium.

Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3.0