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Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys: Scouting report

Projected starters

BUCS OFFENSE

WR: Vincent Jackson

LT: Donald Penn

LG: Carl Nicks

C: Jeremy Zuttah

RG: Ted Larsen

RT: Demar Dotson

TE: Dallas Clark

WR: Mike Williams

QB: Josh Freeman

RB: Doug Martin

FB: Erik Lorig

DEFENSE

LDE: Michael Bennett

DT: Gerald McCoy

DT: Roy Miller

RDE: Adrian Clayborn

SLB: Quincy Black

MLB: Mason Foster

WLB: Lavonte David

CB: Aqib Talib

CB: Eric Wright

SS: Mark Barron

FS: Ronde Barber

special teams

PR: Jordan Shipley

KR: Arrelious Benn

PK: Connor Barth

P/KO: Michael Koenen

Cowboys OFFENSE

WR: Dez Bryant

LT: Tyron Smith

LG: Nate Livings

C: Ryan Cook

RG: Mackenzy Bernadeau

RT: Doug Free

TE: Jason Witten

WR: Miles Austin

QB: Tony Romo

FB: Lawrence Vickers

RB: DeMarco Murray

Defense

DE: Tyrone Crawford

NT: Josh Brent

DE: Jason Hatcher

LB: Anthony Spencer

LB: Dan Connor

LB: Sean Lee

LB: DeMarcus Ware

CB: Brandon Carr

CB: Morris Claiborne

SS: Barry Church

FS: Danny McCray

Special teams

PR: Dez Bryant

KR: Felix Jones

P: Chris Jones

PK/KO: Dan Bailey

Injury report

BUCS: Out CB Anthony Gaitor (hamstring). Probable — CB E.J. Biggers (foot), LB Quincy Black (back), DE Adrian Clayborn (not injury related), T Jeremy Trueblood (ankle), CB Eric Wright (back).

Cowboys: Out LB Alex Albright (neck), DT Kenyon Coleman (knee), C Phil Costa (back), S Matt Johnson (hamstring), NT Jay Ratliff (ankle). Doubtful — S Gerald Sensabaugh (calf). Questionable DE Marcus Spears (knee). Probable WR Miles Austin (hamstring), S Barry Church (quadriceps), WR Andre Holmes (knee), CB Mike Jenkins (shoulder), LB Sean Lee (hip), LB DeMarcus Ware (hamstring), LB Kyle Wilber (thumb), TE Jason Witten (abdomen).

Stat pack



1 p.m., Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas | TV/radio: Ch. 13; 620-AM, 103.5-FM | Line, O/U: Cowboys by 8; 46

Rushing yards

passing yards

total yards

Rushing yards allowed

passing yards allowed

total yards allowed

Bucs

Cowboys

104.5 (t16th)

96.0 (21st)

52.0 (3rd)

132.0 (23rd)

178.0 (29th)

268.5 (6th)

282.5 (29th)

364.5 (11th)

400.5 (32nd)

160.0 (3rd)

452.5 (31st)

292.0 (9th)

The Cowboys are happily playing their home opener today after going literally coast to coast (New York to Seattle) for their first two games. The Bucs have a challenge similar to last week because Dallas has a talented front line, including star pass rusher DeMarcus Ware. Dallas also has a formidable lineup of offensive skill-position players, including RB DeMarco Murray and WR Dez Bryant.

Cowboys' top offensive player

QB Tony Romo, maligned as he may be, is one of the very best. His 153 TD passes since 2006 ranks sixth among active players and he has the second-best career passer rating (96.6) in history.

Cowboys' top defensive player

When Bucs coach Greg Schiano cued up Cowboys tape last week, LB DeMarcus Ware jumped off the screen. With 101½ career sacks, the six-time Pro Bowl pick has a chance to top the Cowboys' all-time sack list by season's end.

What the Cowboys do best

While it wasn't evident last week in a loss to Seattle, the Cowboys have a quick-strike offense that can surprise defenses. If Romo has sufficient time for routes to develop, he has numerous big-play options to throw to. After giving up 510 passing yards to the Giants last week, this is a problem for the Bucs.

How you beat the Cowboys

The Seahawks put the blueprint for this on tape last week, dominating time of possession 34:39 to 25:21. That helps neutralize Dallas' offensive firepower and keeps its stars on the sideline. The Bucs have to run effectively to pull this off.

The Bucs must avoid

An early deficit would make the Bucs one-dimensional. Given their struggles running last week, they need to show some more consistency in this area.

Prediction: Cowboys 28, Bucs 25

Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys: Scouting report 09/14/12 [Last modified: Saturday, September 22, 2012 7:46pm]
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