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Cowboys vs. Bucs: Dallas underrated star for Week 1

Pressure and disruption up the middle is the key to stopping Tom Brady. Look for Osa Odighizuwa to cause issues for the the Buccaneers interior line all night.

Washington Football Team v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

There is no question that as you look up and down the Dallas Cowboys roster it is littered with stars. With a roster that boasts the likes of Dak Prescott, Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs, and CeeDee Lamb, it is expected that some key members of the team will make an impact but may fly under the radar a bit. This year leading up to every game we will highlight one underrated player that has the chance to become that games “underrated star of the week”.

The criteria to qualify is simple. As we preview the Cowboys weekly opponent, we will highlight one player that may not be the most talked about or heralded player on the roster, but simply based on that matchup and strengths that player possesses, hey may very well have the tools and ability to impact the game to put the Cowboys over the top.

Welcome to week one, where again the Cowboys enter the season with no cake walk. Any time you have Tom Brady coming into town you know you are in for a 60-minute slug-fest. Coming off a year that saw Brady throw for over 5,000 passing yards and 40 plus touchdowns, there is no question that Brady and his assortment of weapons at his disposal is still very much capable of putting teams away and hammering their weaknesses.

Week 1 underrated star

Osa Odighizuwa

Washington Football Team v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

There aren't many weaknesses when you are talking about the greatest quarterback of all time, but one weaknesses that gets widely discussed when discussing Brady is how he has a lack of mobility and his deep distain for pressure around him, especially up the middle.

Here is where Odighizuwa can be a game wrecker. The second-year defensive tackle is coming off a really solid rookie season, one in which he amassed 12 starts, two sacks, six tackles for loss, and eleven QB hits. His second camp looks to be more of the same if not better as Odighizuwa looks to a promising start right into a second-year leap. By just looking at his physique, he has seemed to dedicate himself in the gym where he has looked to gain more fundamental strength as he enters year two of an NFL strength regiment, and has clearly seen growth and understanding of the defense in the second year of Dan Quinn’s scheme. The game has slowed down for him which in return will allow for him to be much faster and instinctual in his approach to the game.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have issues in their interior offensive line. They lost their starting center at the start of camp and have since been dealing with more injuries that have impacted their offensive line, specifically in the interior. Tampa still boasts the likes of Tristan Wirfs and Shaq Mason, but where the Cowboys will look to make the Bucs pay will be at the center and left guard spot. Tampa is expected to start Robert Hainsey at center and Luke Goedeke at left guard. Combined between the both of them, Hainsey and Goedeke have zero NFL starts, with Hainsey making nine appearances last season, and Goedeke will be making his NFL debut on Sunday night.

Everything we know about Tom Brady wanting to keep his feet clean as he surveys the field and steps up to throw signals that this may be a problem the Cowboys can, and should, look to exploit from the opening snap.

Look for Dan Quinn and company to get creative on how they attack the interior of this offensive line. Micah Parsons using his athletic ability to create mismatches, we may see DeMarcus Lawrence lineup at the three technique, and we may even seem some rush snaps from newly-signed Anthony Barr. The plan of attack will be one to watch, but don’t be surprised to see Odighizuwa winning his one-on-one matchups and ultimately we find ourselves sitting here post game boasting about his impact on the Cowboys way to victory number one.

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