Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Cowboys

September 12th, 2022

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The Bucs had a great deal to do with the Cowboys looking awful Sunday evening.

The first game of the Todd Bowles regime generated smiles all around after a stifling defensive effort against a franchise that led the NFL in scoring last season.

Poor Dak Prescott spent much of the night scrambling for safety while his depleted WR corps struggled to find separation.

To add injury to insult, Prescott hurt his hand and could be sidelined for a few games.

The Cowboys opened the scoring with a field goal on the game’s initial drive, but when the clock ran out, Dallas stood alone — the only one of 30 teams underway still looking for a touchdown.

Bowles couldn’t ask for much more in his head coaching debut with the Bucs. His team controlled the clock, dominated the line of scrimmage and never allowed the Cowboys to get their huge home crowd into the game. It was an impressive effort that should give Tampa Bay added confidence heading into the Superdome to face a regular-season nemesis.

There’s a kind of hush all over Jerry’s World at the moment. Here’s how the Bucs showed off their skills and grit in front of a national TV audience:

* This was the kind of game I envisioned when writing a recent column suggesting the Bucs will rely more on their defense in 2022. Tom Brady had a quiet night and his two key completions came on spectacular catches by Julio Jones and Mike Evans. The offense sputtered in the red zone and on third down, but Tampa Bay wouldn’t allow the beleaguered Prescott to find a rhythm.

* Leonard Fournette averaged 6 yards per carry behind some solid blocking. He ran left, he ran right and he ran up the middle. Mostly, he ran over any Cowboy in his way. Three of his 21 carries gained at least 14 yards. Not bad for a fat guy, huh?

* As a group, the revamped offensive line held up their end. Protection became more challenging once Donovan Smith departed with an elbow injury, but Robert Hainsey and Luke Goedeke acquitted themselves well. Brady was dropped twice by Micah Parsons, but there’s no shame in that because Parsons may finish with 20 sacks this year. Yes, he’s that good.

* Except for one missed FG try that drifted wide left, Ryan Succop was spot on. The 2021 Bucs attempted only 31 field goals. This year figures to be a very different story.

* Virtually every Dallas pass was contested. Buc fans didn’t see the 8-yard cushions they have become accustomed to as the secondary draped Prescott’s receivers. CeeDee Lamb was no factor, grabbing only 2 of his 11 targets. Carlton Davis and Antoine Winfield led the way for a suffocating pass defense.

* Rookie Jake Camarda showed off his powerful leg by making a dent in the giant scoreboard at AT&T Stadium, but the Cowboys almost blocked a few of his punts. He needs some work on quickening up his contact point.

* The Bucs switched up and placed Shaq Barrett on the right side, hoping to capitalize on rookie left tackle Tyler Smith. Barrett didn’t post a sack but he had nice pressures and was in Dak Prescott’s face on his interception throw. Let’s see where Shaq lines up in New Orleans as he takes aim on Jameis Winston.

* How inept were the Cowboys? They converted 3-of-15 on third down, committed 10 penalties and averaged only 3.8 yards per snap. When Prescott departed late in the game, his passer rating was 47.2.

* Tampa Bay’s tackling was crisp throughout as the Bucs allowed only one gain of more than 20 yards. Devin White wasted no time announcing his presence, flashing with a pair of sacks and 7 solo tackles.

* Field position favored the Bucs significantly. The average start for the Cowboys on 11 drives was their own 22-yard line. Tampa Bay’s average drive start was the Bucs 34. Just another way to measure Tampa Bay’s complete command of the game.

Ira loves that lifetime warranty on new and used vehicles!

25 Responses to “Ira Kaufman’s 10 Takeaways From Bucs-Cowboys”

  1. MonkeyMan Says:

    Nice call on that D last week in that article Ira!!

  2. David Says:


    Tighten up the red zone and this could’ve been 30 to 3.


  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Ira, don’t forget we played a clean game…..only 5 penalties…..2 offense, 2 defense & 1 ST……..all only 5 yards each.

    Also….our ST were good……good coverage & Darden got positive yards on returns…….against Bryan Anger…..a very strong punter.

    At least it looks like our Defense came away without any injuries….

  4. Mike C Says:

    I thought the Defense would be better, not THAT much better.

  5. Craig Says:

    A super solid base to build a season on.

    It is going to be a blast watching this team develop, if they don’t bore me to sleep.

  6. Cannon Says:

    Some of the best pass coverage I have seen in awhile

  7. Joseph C Simmons Says:

    My only negative observaton–and this is really nitpicking–is that our run defense wasn’t the iron wall it had been the last few years. Their two RBs were breaking off four to six yard runs pretty regularly. I’m not sure why the Cowboys didn’t stick to the run.

    But yes, overall a great defensive showing.

  8. teacherman777 Says:

    SMB off the field.

    Logan Ryan and Winfield instead.

    I love it.

    SMB is more of a model than a hard-nosed football player.

    I wish we had drafted a CB instead of Trask. And a CB instead of Darden.

    Imagine if we had 2 young corners developing right now and pushing SMB and Dean?

  9. Lt. Dan Says:

    I see what you did there Ira – channeling your secret love for the Carpenters? “There’s a kind of hush all over Jerry’s World”

  10. TheShaz Says:

    If you treat Week 1 as the last game of the preseason as I do somewhat.

    The Bucs moved the ball but got bogged down in the REDZONE too many times.

    I think that may clear up as the season progresses.

  11. adam from ny Says:

    this team just might be really good…to early to tell…

    let’s see how they fare against the saints, because they have our number…

    as i mentioned a week or so ago, i expect devin white to have an excellent year, with 8 sacks…right now he’s pacing for 34…lol…now i’d like to see him get 20 in this defense 🙂 – but 10 will suffice…

    the d is looking really nice early on – or do the cowboys just suck…

    next week is more of a measuring stick…

    good read ira

  12. Yucs2Bucs Says:

    Well said Ira !!! I didn’t see Cade in there that much and I think I saw Ko, but so you think Jalen will be fielding punts next week ? I know it’s only game one, but getting 5 yards and running out of bounds was a little annoying to see especially when he had the entire right side open on the first punt !!! LVD was quiet and should have been another 2 INTs in my opinion, but a W is a W

  13. Redeemer Says:

    Where is all the outrage over Godwin playing in this game? I still can’t understand why they chanced it. The gameplan was clear as day, they were planning on running the cowboys over.

  14. Jmarkbuc Says:

    Next v week will tell us A LOT more..

  15. geno711 Says:

    A little perspective for our run defense. Last night, they allowed 3.9 yards per carry.

    In 2021, only 3 teams were under that for the season.
    Saints at 3.7
    Ravens at 3.8
    Seahawks at 3.8

    We allowed 71 yards rushing last night.

    In 2021, the Saints allowed the least amount of rushing yards per game at 84 rushing yards per game.

    I guess it was the least impressive part of our defense but let’s not say it was unimpressive.

  16. DoooshLaRue Says:


    Agree, ST did look solid last night especially against the Dallas return guy.
    Darden….. ehh…he doesn’t fumble I guess.

  17. Bold DG Says:

    Lt Dan: “a kind of hush” was first a song by Herman’s Hermits. I’m sure Sage remembers them, probably had one of their 8 tracks.

  18. Ed Says:

    I’m afraid Chris Godwin is going to need weeks of training to strengthen his hamstrings and get more flexible. The ball he caught off the turf had him stretching out in a uncomfortable position for a guy coming off the injury.

    I was surprised the Bucs wanted him out there, we knew it would be a game time decision but why rush him back.

    Looking back now, a bad decision certainly. He has the heart of a Lion, but keep seeing him hurt every season. With the Bucs running game stepping up they can afford to use him as a part time player so he’ll be there in the playoffs.

  19. Cobraboy Says:

    Any news on Smith’s elbow injury and status?

  20. Buczilla Says:

    It was a beautiful win and I felt like I was back in 1997 again.

  21. Cobraboy Says:

    Dungyball 2022, but this time with Brady at QB instead of Dilfer or King.

  22. Lt. Dan Says:

    Well played “Bold DG”. Well played indeed.

  23. matthew veal Says:

    Herman’s hermits would have been a 33 1/3
    8 tracks were in the 70s!

  24. Former Mrs Brady Says:

    Bucs have as good as chance as any in the NFC. Who are you afraid of, Eagles, Vikings, Green Bay, Saints, Rams, 49ers. There are no Chargers, KC, Bills in this conference.

  25. JimbobBucfan Says:

    Defense wins championships. Our special teams squads are much improved. Our running game has improved this year also. Oh, and we have Evans, Godwin and now Julio Jones at WR.

    Our red zone offense showed the absence of a guy called Gronk a bit, but we have new team with time to grow as the season progresses. Listen to the theme the GOAT repeats ad nauseam in his pressers. You just might get it.

    Go Bucs! Crush the Slimy Saints next!