Tom Brady can easily be called the greatest quarterback of all-time. Just a brief breakdown of his accolades include seven-time Super Bowl champ, five-time Super Bowl MVP, and 15-time Pro Bowler. That is just a snippet of the sure-fire first ballot Hall of Famer’s illustrious résumé. When he is eligible for the Hall of Fame depends on whenever he decides to hang it up, because just when you think he’s retiring, he’s not. And why would he retire if he can still play at the level he’s playing at. For Cowboys Nation, there is still at least one more crack at giving the living legend his first loss to a Cowboys team.
Giving the “greatest of all-time” a loss is much easier said than done. He wouldn’t have all these nicknames and accolades if he wasn’t as good as he is. Although Dallas hasn’t beaten Brady, half of those six meetings that were decided by less than one score. One of which happened just last season as Dallas came up short by two points. Dallas had the lead, but left too much time for Brady, and just like many times before, the “comeback kid” got his team down field for a last-second field goal to win the game.
Speaking of last year’s game, if it weren’t for a bad night at the office for former kicker Greg Zuerlein, then this conversation would could be moot as Dallas might have beaten Brady and the Buccaneers last year. Unfortunately, “would haves” do not equate to reality and the record books show another loss for the Cowboys against Tom Brady.
Not everything should be solely blamed on Zuerlein missing three kicks, but he certainly feels like it was on him. To give credit where credit is due, he owned it and that’s what you want from someone who had a bad game as you will see in this quote from Bleacher Report’s Tim Daniels:
“If I’m out there, I should make the kicks. No excuses. ... I know we played well enough to win. If I did my job, we win that game. I feel bad for the guys in there that played their ass off, and I didn’t hold up my end of the deal. If the team that that’s good, returning every player after a Super Bowl victory, and we’re right there, I just have to do my job.”
A 60-yard field goal is in his range, but is still a tough ask. Zuerlein missing those kicks certainly didn’t help the cause, but Tampa Bay’s pass catchers flat out dominated Dallas, which is no surprise given the weapons Brady had at his disposal. Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski all played well. Mike Evans had an off night, and he wasn’t even needed in order for Tampa Bay to pick up the win. That’s how stacked this offense was in last year’s matchup.
From a Cowboys defensive perspective, it’s not a good look when Tom Brady was not sacked all game. However, it wasn’t all bad on defense as Brady was picked off twice but allowing almost 400 yards in the air isn’t a recipe for success against any opposing quarterback, let alone Tom Brady.
In his career against Dallas, Brady has 14 touchdowns to only four interceptions with an average of almost 289 passing yards a game. His passer rating against Dallas is just a shade under 96 with anything above 95 being considered great quarterback play. Great quarterback play and Tom Brady goes together like peanut butter and jelly. Believe it or not however, the Cowboys do average 2.5 sacks a game against Brady, but none of which came in last year’s game.
Sacks are very important against Tom Brady.
Everyone knows Brady isn’t exactly fleet of foot so getting him off his spot and off rhythm goes a long way in helping Dallas achieve victory. Dallas has Micah Parsons, as well as DeMarcus Lawrence, who as we saw recently discussed their hunger to lead the team in sacks. A healthy competition is always a good thing, and it could make for a long game for Brady.
Cowboys’ defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, will have his work cut out for him just like any defensive coordinator would when they face Tom Brady and the assortment of weapons on offense for the Buccaneers. But, if anyone is up to the task, it’s Quinn.
He is one of the best defensive minds in the game today and with guys like Lawrence, Parsons, and Jayron Kearse at his disposal, there is a very good chance Dallas comes away with the victory against Brady and company to kick off the 2022 NFL season. At the end of the day, in Dan Quinn we trust.