As Brady, a seven-time Super Bowl winner, enters an astonishing 22nd NFL season, his counterpart on the Cowboys' sideline - Dak Prescott - will play for the first time since suffering a severe injury last October. Prescott's surgically repaired ankle isn't the only health concern surrounding the quarterback, as he also strained his throwing shoulder in training camp.
The Buccaneers return all 22 starters on offense and defense, and are among the preseason favorites to reach Super Bowl 56. The Cowboys, meanwhile, are coming off a disappointing 6-10 season, but expectations are high for "America's Team" in 2021.
Here's everything you need to know for Thursday night's NFL kickoff game:
What time does Cowboys vs. Buccaneers start?
The game is scheduled to kickoff at 8:20 p.m. ET. "Football Night in America" pregame coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET.
What TV channel is Cowboys vs. Buccaneers on?
The game will be broadcast on NBC. Al Michaels (play by play), Cris Collinsworth (color analyst) and Michele Tafoya (sideline reporter) serve as the broadcast crew.
How can I watch Cowboys vs. Buccaneers online via live stream?
Fans can watch the game on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App.
Today's Cowboys vs Buccaneers live stream doesn't just kick off the regular season: it marks the beginning of the Bucs’ title defense while Dallas looks to bounce back from a rough 2020 campaign. Both teams will look to start things off right for themselves and the rest of the league in this NFL live stream.
Tom Brady is now 44 years old and about to embark on his 22nd NFL season. He is going for his eighth Super Bowl ring and second in as many years with the Buccaneers. Personally, with Drew Brees retiring for the broadcast booth, Brady is poised for a few more all-time records including the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards as he starts the season trailing Brees by just 1,154 yards.
Though it’s true Bruce Arians and the Bucs are led by the most accomplished quarterback in history, their team is built in a way that would make any QB salivate. Most of Tampa’s supporting cast are back to help the team’s chances of a repeat including three-time pro bowler Mike Evans who caught 13 touchdowns last season and the Bucs leading rusher from a year ago Ronald Jones II.
The Cowboys are coming into the 2021 season trying to bounce back from a very disappointing 2020 season. Dallas’ season took a dive in week five when quarterback Dak Prescott broke his right ankle, ending his season.
Despite the injury, the Cowboys signed Prescott to a long-term deal worth $160 million after franchise tagging him the last two seasons. Prescott then started training camp, but then suffered a right shoulder strain and was held out of the preseason. Thursday night Prescott will see his first game action since that fateful Sunday afternoon last season.
Dallas is also hoping to have as much protection as possible for Prescott in the opener. All-Pro guard Zach Martin tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday and his status for Thursday is in question. By NFL protocols, Martin needs to pass two COVID tests prior to kickoff Thursday.
The Buccaneers are 8-point favorites against the Cowboys. The over/under is 51.5. The 2021 NFL season marks the league’s first 17-game regular season schedule.
It’s the Dallas Cowboys vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers tonight in the 2021 NFL season opener. Live coverage on NBC with Football Night in America. The game will also be available to stream live on Peacock.
The Dallas Cowboys made 28 moves to reach the 53-player roster limit ahead of Thursday’s kickoff game, including cutting quarterbacks Garrett Gilbert and Ben DiNucci. As of now, Cooper Rush is poised to be the backup to Dak Prescott unless the Cowboys bring in an outside quarterback within the next few days. Rush, who played in two games for the Cowboys in 2017, has not made any regular-season appearances since then.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers return all 22 starters this season, keeping only 10 newcomers. The reigning Super Bowl champions kept six of their seven draft picks. However, kicker Ryan Succop, defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh, and offensive linemen Nick Leverett and Earl Watford are still on the reserve/COVID-19 list and exempt from the roster.