The Buccaneers looked like the Buccaneers. The Cowboys seemed 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 victory 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 mistakes that led to field goals instead of touchdowns. Tampa Bay outscored Dallas 25, 20, 8, 4 and 29 in five first-half plays. 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.
Both of Parsons’ sacks came on third-down plays in the red zone, one of which resulted in an elbow injury to left tackle Donovan Smith.
Prescott and the Cowboys couldn’t generate enough offense to hang with the Bucs, gaining just 243 yards.
But Prescott stayed in the game with 6:02 remaining and the Cowboys up 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 practice 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 just two passes on 11 targets for 29 yards; Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 52 yards on 10 carries; and right-back Terence Steele kicked four penalties.