The Washington Post

Tampa Bay quiets Dallas as Prescott injures hand




ARLINGTON, TEX. — Tom Brady and Mike Evans connected on a punctuatin­g touchdown, Leonard Fournette ran for 127 yards, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers dominated the Cowboys, 19-3, while Dallas quarterbac­k Dak Prescott departed with a hand injury Sunday night.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said after the game Prescott will miss multiple weeks with the injury to his throwing hand, a season-altering blow to a team that won the NFC East last year.

A rough night for Prescott got worse after his right hand struck a defender when throwing a pass in the fourth quarter. He was checked on the sideline before jogging to the locker room.

Brady was in control throughout the first start for a 45-year-old quarterbac­k in NFL history. The seven-time Super Bowl champ got a big assist from the defense in Todd Bowles’s debut as Tampa Bay’s coach following three seasons as defensive coordinato­r.

The Cowboys and Bucs had the top two offenses in the NFL last season, which started with Tampa Bay’s 31-29 win at home over Dallas when Brady and Prescott combined for seven touchdowns passing. Only one offense showed up this time.

Dallas drove 54 yards to a field goal on the first possession but didn’t score again while finishing with its second-fewest points in an opener. The Cowboys lost to New Orleans, 28-0, in 1989 — Jerry Jones’s first game as owner.

Julio Jones had a 48-yard catch in the two-time all-pro’s Tampa Bay debut to set up one of four first-half field goals from Ryan Succop, who had five attempts before the break without a punt from the Bucs.

Brady, who improved to 7-0 against the Cowboys, was 18 for 27 for 212 yards with an intercepti­on that didn’t amount to much because Prescott and wide receiver Noah Brown couldn’t connect on an easy third-down throw near midfield early in the fourth quarter.

The Cowboys did nothing to quiet questions about the receiving group behind Ceedee Lamb, the third-year player who is the new No. 1 target after the offseason trade of Amari Cooper.

Lamb had two catches for 29 yards while drawing most of the attention. Brown had five catches for 68 yards, and Prescott finished 14 for 29 for 134 yards with an intercepti­on that set up one of the first-half field goals.

The gap in receiving depth was clear, with Evans and Chris Godwin both having catches of at least 20 yards in the first quarter before Godwin had to leave with a hamstring injury.

The Cowboys stayed close in the first half only because of two sacks from reigning defensive rookie of the year Micah Parsons. Both forced field goals, and Succop missed one of the tries.

Devin White matched Parsons with two sacks of Prescott as the Cowboys lost to the Bucs at home for just the second time while Coach Mike Mccarthy dropped to 0-3 in openers with Dallas. Dave Campo was the only other Dallas coach to do that.

 ?? TOM PENNINGTON/GETTY IMAGES ?? Dak Prescott may need surgery on his hand and is expected to miss multiple weeks.
TOM PENNINGTON/GETTY IMAGES Dak Prescott may need surgery on his hand and is expected to miss multiple weeks.

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