This season’s history says the Cowboys can rebound after Sunday’s loss. Nearly 20 years of history says Tom Brady owns the Cowboys. Over 40 years of history says Dallas won’t win in the playoffs if they’re wearing navy blue jerseys. As wild-card weekend approaches, we’re learning all kinds of history lessons, but there’s no telling which one will repeat itself… or if a new chapter will be written Monday night in Tampa. Ahead of the first round, we’re also looking at the Cowboys’ recent running game woes, roster moves by both clubs, and what the power rankings have to say about both the Cowboys and Bucs.
Elsewhere, Jerry Jones gives Mike McCarthy a vote of confidence, a former Cowboy could land with a divisional foe for the postseason, and how Mavericks star Luka Doncic became the unlikeliest of Cowboys fanatics. All that, plus a nuts-and-bolts look at how Micah Parsons could actually… improve his already-otherworldly game for next season and beyond. That’s all up in News and Notes.
Dallas Cowboys confidently moving on to Tampa Bay, not focused on Tom Brady’s mastery :: Fort Worth Star-Telegram
As you may have heard, the Cowboys have never beaten Tom Brady, posting an 0-7 record all-time against the legendary quarterback. But Mike McCarthy says the last two- the 2021 and 2022 season openers- are the only ones that have any bearing on the team’s current assignment. “Clearly, what we’ll pay the most attention to is: we have had the opportunity to compete twice against Tom Brady and Tampa,” McCarthy said. “I have confidence in our football team regardless of who we line up against in the playoffs, that we’ll be successful.”
Tom Brady can't rally a fragmented Bucs team in the playoffs ... can he? :: Yahoo Sports
Tom Brady is back in the playoffs, and that means there’s always the possibility for Brady-led chaos. “The team that wins is the one that plays the best that day,” he said, “not the one with the best record or home field.” As the NFL’s king of fourth-quarter comebacks, Brady still has the chance to engineer a miracle finish to the Buccaneers’ stumble-filled season.
Safe Returns: Jones says McCarthy job as Cowboys HC not in jeopardy as playoffs begin :: Cowboys Wire
Asked if there was a first-round outcome that could put Mike McCarthy’s job in jeopardy, the Cowboys owner was unusually succinct. “No. I don’t even want to- no. That’s it,” Jones said Tuesday on Dallas radio. “I don’t need to go into all the pluses or minuses, but I’ve got a lot more to evaluate Mike McCarthy on than this playoff game.”
History suggests Cowboys will bounce back in big way from Week 18 :: Cowboys Wire
After each of their previous four losses, the Cowboys rebounded well with not just an impressive win, but one of their best games of the season. Based on that trend, they seem fully capable of putting the Washington debacle behind them and flipping a switch in Tampa.
Cowboys look to break curse, record first playoff win in navy jerseys :: Cowboys Wire
Dallas will wear navy jerseys and white pants in Tampa, a combo that went 2-0 during the 2022 season. A win Monday would give the Cowboys their first-ever playoff win wearing navy; since switching from royal blue in 1981, they’ve worn their colored jerseys in just three playoff games. All were losses.
Can the Cowboys salvage their run game in time to stop Tampa Bay? :: D Magazine
One and a half yards per rush on 10 first-down runs- what the Cowboys averaged on Sunday- is not going to cut it in the postseason, especially since Dallas runs on first down more often than almost every other team. Losing Terence Steele was devastating for the run game; the Cowboys rank in the bottom third of the league in yards-per-carry since he got hurt four games ago. The good news? The Buccaneers aren’t as good as stopping the run as the Jaguars, Eagles, Titans and Commanders.
Cowboys' YPC numbers show major cause for concern :: Dan Rogers (Twitter)
Cowboys lose backup center to waiver wire :: Cowboys Wire
Dakoda Shepley was cut on Monday, with the Cowboys aiming to re-sign him to the practice squad once he cleared waivers. The Colts made sure that didn’t happen, claiming him Tuesday. Shepley cannot join his new team until after the Super Bowl, but he also misses out on postseason pay with Dallas.
NFL Power Rankings: 49ers, Bills, Bengals remain on top heading into Super Wild Card Weekend :: NFL.com
The Cowboys hold at No. 6 in this set of power rankings, despite their “uninspired close” to the season. Can they flip the switch in the playoffs? It has to start with Dak Prescott after his third pick-six in four weeks. The Bucs come in 15th here, the only one of the 14 postseason teams with a losing record.
AT&T Stadium to host free watch party vs. Bucs :: The Mothership
Fans in the Metroplex can watch the Cowboys’ wild-card round game at AT&T Stadium for free, even though the team won’t be there. The Cowboys are opening the venue’s Miller Lite House for a playoff viewing party, with the game in Tampa being broadcast live at 7:15 p.m. CT across over 60 outdoor television screens. Admission and parking are free.
How Dallas Cowboys' Micah Parsons can take his game to another level :: PFF
Parsons is already among the NFL’s most impactful defenders on a snap-by-snap basis, but the scary part for opposing teams is that his skill set still has room to grow. Analysis shows he could be even more explosive (read: unblockable) by fixing what’s called a “false step” in his get-off footwork, and he could steal a trick from Von Miller in learning how to pull offensive tackles away from their help and onto an island. Throw in some fine-tuning of his upper-body positioning to diminish his strike zone, and Parsons could replace Aaron Donald as the best defender in the game.
Ulysees Gilbert promoted as Anthony Chesley heads to I.R. :: Buccaneers.com
The Bucs are tweaking their defense ahead of Monday’s showdown. Linebacker Ulysses Gilbert has made the 53-man roster, taking the roster spot of injured cornerback Anthony Chesley. Chesley had played in seven games, primarily on special teams, before injuring a hamstring late Sunday. Tampa Bay signed cornerback Duron Lowe to their practice squad to fill that hole.
Luka Doncic, Cowboys fanatic: Mavericks star details how he learned to love football :: Dallas Morning News
The 23-year-old NBA superstar wasn’t exposed to American football growing up in Slovenia. He became curious when he attended his first Cowboys game in 2018 on an invite from Jerry Jones. “I just started watching games,” Doncic said. “It was just great to learn all the rules. I Googled it, too, so it was really fun to know the sport now.” He’s become a true fan; the Cowboys are Doncic’s third-most popular Twitter topic, behind the Mavericks and Real Madrid.
Ex-Cowboys WR James Washington could land with division rival :: Field Yates (Twitter)