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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Undersized? Bucs' Kwon Alexander plays big with 21 tackles

Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander, hauling down Dez Bryant, had a career-best 21 total tackles against the Cowboys.

LOREN ELLIOTT | Times

Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander, hauling down Dez Bryant, had a career-best 21 total tackles against the Cowboys.

19

December

Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander came up with a career-best 21 total tackles in Sunday's loss to the Cowboys -- tied for fourth-most in team history -- and said his extra motivation for the big game came from a slight from former Dallas columnist Skip Bayless.

"Very motivated," Alexander said after the game. "I heard people calling me undersized and everything. I hate when people call me undersized. Skip Bayless and all that. I just showed up for the defense, got ready to lead the defense. We lost, so we've got to get it together."

Bayless, on his "Undisputed" talk show on Fox Sports 1 (at 7:50 mark here), said of the Bucs this week: "This team is 21st against the rush. This team will not be able to stop Ezekiel Elliott ... The Tampa linebackers are smallish to me. They can run, but they're smallish and I think they're going to get blasted by this offensive line."

Alexander -- listed at 6-foot-1, 227 pounds on the team's online roster -- said he was pleased with how the defense responded in the second half, holding the Cowboys to three field goals in a 26-20 loss.

"We came back with some juice in the second half," Alexander said. "We weren't playing like we need to be playing, gave up too many points in the first half. We don't allow points like that. Everybody got their stuff together and we started playing like the defense we are."

Alexander's 21 tackles tie for the fourth-most all-time for a Bucs player -- Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks had 23 in one game and 22 in another, with Hardy Nickerson getting 22 in one game as well.

The Bucs are quickly moving on from the Cowboys, with a short week to prepare for a key road game at New Orleans, just 13 days after the Bucs pulled out a 16-11 win over the Saints at home.

"We're putting this game behind us. I'm not even thinking about this game any more," he said. "I'm mad, but I'm not thinking about it, just getting ready for Saints. Division game, so it's real big, so we've got to get ready, go out there and do our thing."

[Last modified: Monday, December 19, 2016 9:13am]

    

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