The Buccaneers looked like the Buccaneers. The Cowboys looked like they are headed for another season without a trip to the Super Bowl, especially if Dak Prescott seriously injured his hand.
Tom Brady and Tampa Bay took care of business with a 19-3 opening-day win at AT&T Stadium. Brady went 18-of-27 for 212 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
It would have been a blowout without Micah Parsons’ two third-down sacks in the red zone and some Bucs’ miscues that led to field goals instead of touchdowns. Tampa Bay reached the Dallas 25, 20, 8, 4 and 29 on five first-half drives. They kicked four field goals and Ryan Succop missed a field goal.
The Bucs led 12-3 at halftime on Succop’s field goals of 44, 38, 29 and 47.
Parsons’ two sacks came on third-down plays in the red zone, one of which resulted in an elbow injury for left tackle Donovan Smith.
Prescott and the Cowboys couldn’t generate enough offense to stay with the Bucs, gaining only 243 yards.
But Prescott remained in the game with 6:02 remaining and the Cowboys down 19-3. His throwing hand connected with the hand of Bucs edge rusher Shaquil Barrett on his follow through.
Prescott left the game for the training room after being examined by Dr. Dan Cooper, the team’s head physician.
Prescott finished 14-of-29 for 134 yards and an interception before Cooper Rush replaced him. CeeDee Lamb caught only two passes on 11 targets for 29 yards; Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 52 yards on 10 carries; and right tackle Terence Steele had four penalties.