At the Cowboys’ season-opener game in front of a raucous crowd at their AT&T Stadium against Tom Brady and the Bucs, Dallas kicked off the 2022 season with a stutter and a scare.
If the struggling offensive performance weren’t enough to worry about — Dallas didn’t score after opening the game with a field goal — a potentially serious injury to Dak Prescott could have long-term repercussions.
In the fourth quarter, as he attempted to bolster offense and make a comeback, Prescott’s throwing hand — his right — hit with the hands of Bucs outside linebacker Shaq Barrett during a pass attempt.
The 29-year-old’s discomfort was evident almost immediately, and he jogged back to the dressing room with an athletic trainer.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said after the game that Prescott will undergo further medical evaluations but suffered a fracture “behind the thumb” and “will miss several games but will not be out for the year.”
Prescott was seen wearing braces during post-game media availability. He expressed his frustration at the injury but acknowledged it could have been a lot worse.
Even with Prescott on the field, the Cowboys struggled to move the ball against a strong Tampa Bay defense.
The offense had just 244 total yards, with Prescott going 14 of 29 for 134 yards with an interception and being released twice. Backup quarterback Cooper Rush finished the game and didn’t have much more success.
After a serious ankle injury that saw him miss most of the 2020 season, Prescott was hoping for a healthy 2022 but sounded optimistic afterwards despite the injury.
Brady rubs it out
It wasn’t Brady’s best performance, but it was enough for the Bucs.
The 45-year-old seven-time Super Bowl winner threw for 212 yards, plus one touchdown and one interception in defense-heavy play.
It was running back Leonard Fournette who was the driving force on the Bucs’ offense, rushing for 127 yards with 21 carries.
“They gave us some things up front and Lenny (Fournette) did a hell of a job running hard and physical and finding the hole. I thought the offensive line did a great job of blocking. It was a total team effort tonight.”
The Bucs’ strong defense kept the Cowboys’ offense in check, limiting Dallas to less than six points in a season opener for the first time since 1989.
The win improves Brady’s personal record against the Cowboys to 7-0 and gives the 2020 Super Bowl winners the perfect start to a new season.