I smell an upset
Tom Jones, @tomwjones: Teams with confidence going into different directions. Bucs are soaring and Cowboys reeling a bit after loss to Giants. Bucs will win takeaway battle again and pull off upset. Prediction: Bucs 27-21.
Why this could be a long game for the Bucs
Rick Stroud, @NFLStroud:
Bucs have not done a good job of stopping the run (21st) and the Cowboys have three All Pros on their offensive line and sensational rookie Ezekiel Elliott, who leads the NFL with 1,392 yards. If Elliott gets to the second level, it will be a long game for Tampa Bay. Prediction: Dallas 24-20.
Run 'em, Cowboys
Thomas Bassinger, @tometrics: Against the Giants, the Cowboys got away from running the ball. Prescott threw 37 passes, his third most this season. I'm expecting Dallas to recommit to the run, especially early, and to have success. The Cowboys rank second in the league in Football Outsiders' run offense efficiency ratings (the Bills rank first) while the Bucs rank 21st in run defense. Prediction: Dallas 31-23.
A stead diet of Elliott
Martin Fennelly, @mjfennelly: I might have liked the Bucs' chances if Dallas wasn't playing for anything and it wasn't Sunday night on national TV and the Cowboys weren't determined to take the heat off Prescott. The Bucs believe in themselves, and that's large, but a steady diet of Ezekiel Elliott will be too much too handle. The Cowboys will try to pound the Bucs and throttle Mike Evans. That will be too much for the surging Bucs defense and Jameis Winston. Prediction: Dallas 27-14.
Bucs could play well, and still ...
Greg Auman, @gregauman: It would be huge if the Bucs could pull it off. There's a vulnerability after the loss to the Giants, and an early interception would have half the Dallas crowd chanting "ROMO!" But I think Dallas bounces back. The Bucs can continue to play well and still lose this game close. The wild card? If the Bucs can really establish the run, set up play-action for Jameis Winston, then just maybe ... Prediction: Dallas 24-20.
Ernest Hooper, @hoop4you: I was fully prepared to pick the Bucs —- before the Giants upset Dallas last week. The Cowboys were primed to go down, but I thought the Bucs, not the Giants, would be the valiant victors. Now Dallas will regroup, work out some of the flaws in Prescott's game and pull out a close one at home. It's the Bucs' winning streak that now makes them vulnerable. Plus, the Bucs are a historically meager 1-10 in road games against the Cowboys. Prediction: Dallas 17-13.