Game day is here, and it’s time to kick off the 2009 NFL season! For fans of the Dallas Cowboys, this is a day to try and wipe away last year’s disappointment, and start things fresh with a win today over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tony Romo and company should have the advantage today, as I would look for the Cowboys to put up some points, while the Bucs will struggle to get anything going on offense. The defense for the Cowboys should have a field day against what has looked to be a below average offense, as quarterback Byron Leftwich has been prone to make mistakes through the air.
In case you’ve missed any of our game previews here at BlitzNation on the Cowboys vs. Bucs, I’ve included them here:
And remember to stop in around game time, as I’ll be live blogging for today’s game. I’m ready for some Cowboys’ football! How about you?
- 11:55 CST: Five minutes from kickoff!
- 11:57 CST: Tony Siragusa is on the sidelines today. I bet that guy could still control the line of scrimmage.
- 12:03 CST: Ladies and gents, it’s game time!
- 12:04 CST: The Boys get the ball first, and Felix Jones gets a nice 36 yard return.
- 12:06 CST: It’s quite loud in Tampa, but Choice gets the first first down of the year for the Cowboys at their own 49.
- 12:07 CST: Roy Williams with his second reception. First down! Romo put it where only he could catch it. Perfect!
- 12:09 CST: Romo gets sacked, then follows that up with what looked like a busted play. Things started good. Now it’s 3rd and 17. And now we have to use a timeout.
- 12:12 CST: A toss on 3rd and 17. Hmmmm. I guess we want Nick Folk to test his range early. Kick is good from 51. Cowboys up 3-0.
- 12:15 CST: Buehler kicks it out of the endzone on the kickoff. Interesting stat: Cowboys had no kickoffs for a touchback last season.
- 12:17 CST: The Cadillac is back. The Cowboys don’t care, and stop him for only two yards on his first run.
- 12:18 CST: So Cadillac gets angry on the next play, first down Bucs.
- 12:20 CST: Ware is down for the Cowboys. That certainly won’t help the defense. Announcers seem to think its a burner.
- 12:22 CST: The Cadillac just ran over half the Cowboys defense. He looks like a car right now.
- 12:24 CST: Marcus Spears spears Cadillac. 3rd and 10 for Tampa.
- 12:26 CST: Sensabaugh blocks a Mike “I’m not Ted” Nugent field goal. Cowboys football with great field position!
- 12:28 CST: Felix Jones is awesome. Big gainer for a Cowboy first down.
- 12:30 CST: Romo to Witten for 18, first and goal Cowboys!
- 12:33 CST: Next time Tony, throw the ball up in the air to Bennett. He’s a tad bigger than Ronde Barber, I’d say. Cowboys settle for a field goal, 6-0.
- 12:35 CST: They’re playing Miley Cyrus music in the background. I bet that gets the players fired up.
- 12:38 CST: End of the 1st quarter, Cowboys up 6-0. Gotta start stopping Cadillac though. He’s rolling right now.
- 12:40 CST: Leftwich gets nailed, and somehow tosses it forward to Ward for a first down. Nice play.
- 12:41 CST: First Brett Favre mention comes 41 minutes into the game. I was thinking more around 25 or so.
- 12:45 CST: Cadillac has 6 carries for 41 yard up to this point. Oh, and go ahead and add 35 yards to that total. First and goal Bucs.
- 12:48 CST: Touchdown Cadillac! And fantasy owners around the world immediately claim him from free agency! 7-6, Bucs.
- 12:51 CST: Felix is brought down quick on the kickoff return. Dallas needs a big drive here.
- 12:53 CST: Does anyone think this new Michael Strahan comedy is going to be funny?
- 12:54 CST: 22-yard run by Marion Barber. That’s what I like to see.
- 12:56 CST: Romo’s pass incomplete on 3rd down. Time to punt. Tampa’s defensive line is getting way too much pressure on the QB right now.
- 12:59 CST: Leftwich looks like Joe Montana. 30 yard pass to Bryant. First down. Cowboys secondary was nowhere to be found.
- 1:02 CST: I jinxed Leftwich. Terrible pass with a man wide open on 3rd down. Tampa punts.
- 1:04 CST: A 3rd and 7 dump off to Choice, short of the first down. That was quick. But fortunately, Tampa runs into the kicker. First down boys!
- 1:07 CST: Romo throws behind Williams. Should have been a first down, but instead, it’s 3rd and 8.
- 1:08 CST: He makes up for it though, hits Witten in stride for a 20-yard gain. First down at the Dallas 45!
- 1:09 CST: Trick play! I love those. Crayton gets a first down, but of course it comes back after Flozell Adams gets unnecessary roughness called on him. Very smart.
- 1:13 CST: A 3rd and 20 screen pass. Those always get the job done, don’t they? Cowboys punt again. A whopping 63 yarder. Tampa starts inside their own 15.
- 1:16 CST: There’s that pesky screen pass again. Cowboys defense drops the Bucs for a loss.
- 1:18 CST: Quick three and out for Tampa. That’s what happens when the Cadillac doesn’t touch the ball. Cowboys ball with good field position, with 1:02 left in the half.
- 1:20 CST: Romo to Miles Austin…..TOUCHDOWN COWBOYS! Great job by Austin. That’s what the Cowboys need at the receiver position. Cowboys 13, Bucs 7. 46 seconds left in the half.
- 1:22 CST: And Philly leads Carolina 31-7 in the second quarter. Yikes.
- 1:24 CST: Leftwich deep to Clayton for 47 yards. Terence Newman gets beat. So now Tampa gets a chance to score before half.
- 1:28 CST: Play is reviewed, catch stands. Seven seconds left.
- 1:29 CST: Should have been touchdown Tampa, as Jenkins got beat in the secondary. Leftwich overthrows though, and Nugent missed a 46-yarder to end the half. Cowboys escape again, up 13-7 at halftime.
Total Yards: Dallas 188, Tampa Bay 231
Rushing Yards: Dallas 82, Tampa Bay 101
Passing Yards: Dallas 106, Tampa Bay 130
Tony Romo - 8 for 15, 115 yards, TD
Byron Leftwich - 8 for 12, 130 yards
Marion Barber - 6 rushes, 43 yards
Cadillac Williams - 8 rushes, 77 yards, TD
Miles Austin - 1 reception, 42 yards, TD
Michael Clayton - 2 receptions, 51 yards
Positives: Barber looks good running, and Austin looked good on that catch. The running game has been the bright spot at this point, and well, a 13-7 lead is nice too.
Concerns: For a team that’s up 13-7, they sure don’t look that good. Tampa’s defensive line is all over Romo at times, and the Dallas secondary is getting beat every other play. That’s gotta change, because Leftwich has shown he can throw the deep ball. Romo hasn’t been very accurate either, but he’s done enough to get by. And Cadillac Williams is running all over people right now. Run defense looks atrocious. I’d like to see the defense play much better, because if not for two field goal mistakes, we’d be tied right now.
- 1:44 CST: Another touchback by Buehler, as we kick off the second half. A major storm seems to be approaching.
- 1:46 CST: Rain has just started coming down pretty hard. Running game is about to take precedence.
- 1:48 CST: Three and out to start the half. Nice job. Cowboys will start around their own 20.
- 1:50 CST: Romo to Bennett for a first down. Good way for the offense to get started.
- 1:52 CST: Romo to Williams…..TOUCHDOWN! Perfect throw, perfect catch, as Williams beats the secondary. 66 yards later, Cowboys lead 20-7.
- 1:56 CST: The Bucs are looking to throw more. But that’s what you gotta do when you’re down. Unfortunately, that’s not their strong point.
- 1:58 CST: Another three and out. This is the defense we were looking for in the first half. And Terence Newman deciding to field a punt and drop it with a guy two yards in front of him results in Crayton having to kick the ball out of bounds. Bad field position for the boys.
- 2:01 CST: Romo is definitely more accurate so far this half. Nice little gain to Crayton to start the drive.
- 2:03 CST: Cowboys can’t convert on third down, as Williams has the pass hit him in the helmet. Punt, and Tampa starts at their own 41.
- 2:07 CST: Make that another three and out. The Dallas “D” is playing now!
- 2:11 CST: The Eagles are rolling right now, and McNabb is hurt and is on my fantasy team. Go figure. Romo to Witten for a Cowboys first down!
- 2:13 CST: Romo was about two inches from an interception right there. Let’s throw that away next time.
- 2:14 CST: Almost another interception on third down. Cowboys punt, Bucs fumble it but get it right back. Bad field position inside the 20 though.
- 2:16 CST: Derrick Ward runs for a Bucs’ first down. Then Leftwich proceeds to fumble the snap on the next play, but again, Tampa recovers.
- 2:18 CST: Another first down run by Ward. But then…..Jenkins with the interception! Wait…..there’s something yellow on the field. Illegal contact on Sensabaugh. Terrible call. Bucs keep the ball.
- 2:20 CST: Ward looks like Cadillac did in the first half. Another first down Tampa.
- 2:21 CST: Clayton makes a great catch as Sensabaugh absolutely nails him. Sensabaugh is down, and boy that didn’t look good.
- 2:23 CST: Sensabaugh is up now, thank goodness. Probably knocked him a little silly.
- 2:24 CST: End of the third quarter, Cowboys up 20-7. Great quarter for Dallas.
- 2:27 CST: Jenkins is down, may be a cramp. And on a side note, I’m glad I’m not watching that 6-0 shootout between the Broncos and Bengals in Cincy.
- 2:30 CST: Leftwich to Stroughter on third down for a Bucs touchdown….or so it seems. He was actually stopped short, so Wade Phillips will challenge. It should get reversed and Tampa should have the ball at the 2.
- 2:34 CST: Play reversed, Tampa has it first and goal at the one.
- 2:35 CST: This half’s Cadillac, Derrick Ward, scores on the run. We have a ballgame again. Cowboys up 20-14 with 13:35 left in the game.
- 2:38 CST: The Tampa d-line is starting to pick it up again. Felix is stuffed on a first down rush.
- 2:39 CST: Too bad the Tampa d-line can’t play in the secondary. Romo to Crayton, 80 yards……TOUCHDOWN COWBOYS! That’s the quick strike we needed. 27-14 Dallas!
- 2:41 CST: Any commercial with Hugh Hefner in it is a winner in my opinion. Just though I’d throw that out there.
- 2:44 CST: Cadillac is back. First down run for the Bucs.
- 2:45 CST: Leftwich to Stovall for another Tampa first down. Secondary needs to tighten up again.
- 2:47 CST: Leftwich gets hammered on the throw, but is still able to make the completion for another first down.
- 2:50 CST: Kellen Winslow drops a sure first down on 4th and 6. Turnover on downs. Cowboy football with under eight minutes to go.
- 2:53 CST: Romo to Witten again….first down! 6:30 to go. Cowboys in great shape.
- 2:54 CST: Wow, Romo to Crayton for 44 yards. Jason Garrett says screw running down the clock, we wanna score. 1st and 10 Dallas at the Tampa 20.
- 2:56 CST: Toss to Barber…..TOUCHDOWN COWBOYS! Great block by Roy Williams on the outside. Dallas has sealed the win, up 34-14 with 3:57 left.
- 2:58 CST: Romo has a career-high 353 yards passing in this game. Definitely the kind of start he needed with all the “loss of T.O.” questions this offseason.
- 3:00 CST: A very loud “Let’s Go Cowboys” chant going in Tampa right now. That’s probably not what you like to hear in your own stadium.
- 3:02 CST: Cowboys clearly in prevent mode, as the Bucs are driving quite nicely. They have it at around the Dallas 20 at the two minute warning. Two minutes until victory number one for the Cowboys!
- 3:07 CST: Clifton Smith drops what could have been a touchdown. Leftwich just stares on….
- 3:08 CST: Stevens drops what could have been a touchdown. Leftwich continues to stare on…..
- 3:09 CST: Leftwich fumbles the fourth down snap, but still finds Winslow in the endzone for a touchdown. Cowboys up 34-21 with 1:28 left.
- 3:11 CST: Cowboys get the onside kick attempt, this game is over.
- 3:13 CST: They run out the clock, and chalk it up as a win for the Cowboys! Wade Phillips looks happy. Cowboys 34, Tampa Bay 21. Thanks everyone for joining me for today’s live blogging! I’ll be back in a little bit with a look back at today’s game.
Total Yards: Dallas 462, Tampa Bay 450
Rushing Yards: Dallas 118, Tampa Bay 174
Passing Yards: Dallas 344, Tampa Bay 276
Tony Romo - 16 for 27, 353 yards, 1 TD
Byron Leftwich - 25 for 41, 276 yards, 1 TD
Marion Barber - 14 carries, 79 yards, 1 TD
Cadillac Williams - 13 carries, 97 yards, 1 TD
Patrick Crayton - 4 receptions, 135 yards, 1 TD
Michael Clayton - 5 receptions, 93 yards
Terence Newman and Keith Brooking - 9 tackles each
Sabby Piscitelli - 8 tackles
Current: Coming Soon!