By Eric Schmidt

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were in the news all week after rookie head coach Greg Schiano called for an all out defensive line push against the New York Giants lining up in a kneel down formation with five seconds remaining in the game last Sunday. However, lost in that noise has been the turnaround the Buccaneers have seen in just two games under Schiano. Yes, there is still much work to be done with the Buccaneers, but this team is a vastly improved unit over the one which suffered 10 straight defeats in the 2011 season.

What seems to be forgotten in the Buccaneers loss to the Giants last week is that the offense has been very capable of moving the ball. Tampa Bay held a nine point lead at the end of the game, and even when the Giants went up by a touchdown, the Buccaneers rallied to tie the game with two minutes remaining. This is a very competitive team.

The Buccaneers will be facing a depleted defense for the Dallas Cowboys, a team that was completely blown out last week in Seattle. Yes, it’s the Cowboys home opener and Tony Romo should be able to move the Cowboys offense through the air against a very porous secondary, but the Buccaneers should be able to hang with Dallas offensively.

Three key players for the Dallas defense will be missing on Sunday. DT Jay Ratliff is still suffering from a high ankle sprain. DE Kenyon Coleman is suffering from a knee injury, while S Gerald Sensabaugh is likely to miss the game as well after suffering a calf injury last week.

The current line on this game is Dallas -7.5. I believe the Buccaneers can move the ball on this Dallas defense and this will be a close contest. In all-time head-to-head play, Dallas has won 10 of 13 meetings and Tampa Bay has only won once in Dallas, a 10-6 victory in 2001.




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