The 2021 NFL season officially kicks off on Thursday, September 9, 2021 (9/9/21) when the Dallas Cowboys, led by quarterback Dak Prescott, face the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led by quarterback Tom Brady, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. How to watch Dallas Cowboys vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021 NFL season opener: Free live stream, time, TV, channelClick Here to Watch NFL Live Stream Free
Fans can watch the game for free via a trial of fuboTV.
Here’s what you need to know:
What: NFL, Week 1
Who: Dallas Cowboys vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
When: Thursday, September 9, 2021
Where: Raymond James Stadium
Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
A lingering COVID-19 issue with the Dallas Cowboys is likely to keep one of their best players out of the opener at Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay.
Four-time All-Pro right guard Zack Martin is among the latest Dallas players to test positive. Asked if he would miss Thursday’s matchup with seven-time champion quarterback Tom Brady, coach Mike McCarthy said, “I would say so, yes.”
Four other potential starters were in the health and safety protocols late in the preseason but have since returned: receiver CeeDee Lamb, left guard Connor Williams, safety Damontae Kazee and defensive tackle Carlos Watkins.
Backup tackle Brandon Knight was placed on the COVID-19 reserve list along with Martin. Receiver Noah Brown was already on it.
The outbreak started with defensive coordinator Dan Quinn before the second-to-last preseason game against Houston. Quinn is back also.
Third-year pro Connor McGovern, who filled in for Martin when he was sidelined by a calf injury last year, is set to replace him again.
McCarthy said the club held virtual meetings Sunday morning before the players came in for practice. They were set to go back to virtual meetings after practice. McCarthy said they would follow the same procedure Monday, the most important practice before the opener.
“The numbers are up in our society so I think we understand what we need to do and I think we’re more rehearsed in the protocols and the adjustments,” McCarthy said. “We’re still going to get our work done.”
With Martin likely out, the Cowboys will again be without one of their top three offensive linemen after the trio never played together in 2020.
Martin was limited to 10 games with a calf issue, and seven-time Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith played in just two games before season-ending neck surgery. A hip problem that required surgery kept right tackle La’el Collins out all season.
Lamb said he lost his sense of taste and smell for about a week, but he doesn’t have any concerns about his conditioning going into the game against the Buccaneers.
“It’s definitely a tough situation that we’re going through and that we’re battling,” Lamb said. “It’s kind of unfortunate on our end just considering we’re doing everything right and not really understanding where it’s coming from. At this point, we’ve just got to play it safe.”
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys will face off at 8:20 p.m. ET Sept. 9 at Raymond James Stadium to kick off their 2021 seasons. Tampa Bay was 11-5 last year and, of course, capped off the postseason with a 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl. On the other hand, last year was nothing to brag about for Dallas (6-10), so the team is looking forward to a new start.
A couple last-season defensive stats to keep an eye on: The Buccaneers were the best in rushing touchdowns allowed, finishing the 2020 season giving up only ten. Less enviably, the Cowboys ranked second worst with respect to rushing yards allowed per game last season, where the squad gave up 158.8 on average. The good news for Dallas, of course, is that these forces working against them might not carry over into the new season.
Tampa Bay is the favorite in this one, with an expected 8.5-point margin of victory. But these early season matchups can go either way as both teams get back into playing shape.
The NFL’s regular season is officially here. The Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are set to face off in a matchup of one of the league’s most popular teams and the reigning Super Bowl champions. Sounds like good TV, eh?
The Cowboys are obviously coming off of a very disappointing season in 2020, but Dak Prescott is back and healthy for the start of the 2021 season which has renewed hopes that the Cowboys can take the NFC East.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are obviously thinking about a repeat as champs given the fact that they returned 43 players from last year’s roster. With six draft picks and only three newcomers, the Bucs are obviously reloaded and ready to go.