Matchup Analysis: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys

Vegas Prediction

Vegas says: Buccaneers 19, Cowboys 27

FBG Projections

TeamRushYardsTDCompAttPass YdTDINT

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Buccaneers Offense24.6 (+1.1) (12)98 (-16) (28)319 (+79) (1)
Cowboys Defense19.2 (-4.2) (4)93 (-21) (5)224 (-15) (7)

Dallas Cowboys Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Cowboys Offense19.7 (-3.7) (26)131 (+16) (4)216 (-24) (24)
Buccaneers Defense28.8 (+5.3) (30)128 (+13) (27)258 (+18) (27)

Buccaneers Rushing offense

Tough matchup vs. the Cowboys defense.

Peyton Barber has been the unquestioned starter throughout the season, leading the backfield in snaps each game. However, the Buccaneers are middle of the road in rushing volume and 30th in the NFL in yards-per-carry and one of seven teams to average less than 100 yards-per-game as a team. Tampa Bay is also dead last in rushes of 20 or more yards with just five such runs all season. Peyton Barber has yet to rush 20 or more times in a game this season but has found the end zone in four-of-five most recent contests.

The Cowboys have been stingy against the run this season until uncharacteristically allowing a monster game to Marlon Mack (27-139-2) last week in the blowout loss. This remains a very solid unit led by Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith in which it has actually pushed veteran Sean Lee to a backup role as the Dallas defense has primarily played a nickel defense with just two linebackers on the field. Dallas’ defense allowed wide running lanes and missed tackles in bunches for one of the first times all season. Previously, Dallas had not allowed a 100-yard rusher since Week 3 and only five running back rushing touchdowns all season. Dallas also has prevented big plays on the ground, ranking in the top-10 for fewest rushes of 20 or more yards allowed and not a single gain of 40 or more yards on the season.

Buccaneers Passing offense

Neutral matchup vs. the Cowboys defense.

Jameis Winston has struggled in his two road games against tough pass defenses this season, against the Bears in Week 4 and the Ravens in Week 15. Winston combined for one touchdown and three interceptions across 45 attempts in those two contests. DeSean Jackson has missed the last three games with a thumb injury, but Chris Godwin has logged back-to-back invisible games, totaling 1-13-0, despite the expanded opportunity. Mike Evans, on the other hand, produced well through the past two games of tough matchups with 8-207-0 even with Tampa Bay scoring a total of 26 points. Adam Humphries has been a consistent ancillary target with at least four receptions in each of the past four games. Cameron Brate has seen a marginal uptick in production since taking over for the injured O.J. Howard and is a touchdown-dependent option near the end zone.

The Cowboys have limited yards through the air of late, but have struggled to force turnovers or register sacks with four sacks and three turnovers over the past three games. The Cowboys are led by Byron Jones who is in the running for the best cornerbacks in football this season and has been a significant upgrade to this defense. The positives this season have been Dallas limiting big plays (fifth-fewest plays of 20 or more yards allowed passing) and being stingy against wide receivers with only one 100-yard performance allowed since Week 5 (Julio Jones’ 6-118-1 in Week 11) while limiting T.Y. Hilton, Alshon Jeffery, Michael Thomas, and Corey Davis over the span. Dallas has been more suspect to opposing tight ends, however, with Zach Ertz, Jordan Reed, and Vernon Davis all going for more than 70 yards over the past six games and a total of four touchdowns.

Cowboys Rushing offense

Great matchup vs. the Buccaneers defense.

Despite limping off the field multiple times against the Colts in Week 15, Ezekiel Elliott finished the game with his sixth straight game of at least 25 touches, but his third consecutive contest without a rushing touchdown. Dallas has the third-most rushing yards per game and is also in the top-10 in efficiency. One concerning area for the Cowboys run game is a mere six running back touchdowns from inside the five-yard-line (goal line situations) despite seeing the eighth-most attempts in that zone of the field and converting just one of their last seven attempts for a score dating back to Week 12.Elliott continues to have a fantastic season as he's consistent with his career average of 4.7 yards per carry, but is on pace to get close to his career high in yards if he can finish with two strong games as he needs 282 yards to do so.

The Buccaneers are a unit that is one of the weakest in the league as they are coming off of another 100-yard rushing performance to an opposing running back which is the fourth in the last five games as Gus Edwards carved through the defense last week. This is a unit that has had issues at linebacker all season since Kwon Alexander went out as Devante Bond and Riley Bullough make up the linebacking group alongside veteran Lavonte David. While the defensive line remains strong with Vita Vea and Gerald McCoy, running backs have had big days by getting up to the second level against this defense.This is a unit that should have major issues stopping Ezekiel Elliott this week.

Cowboys Passing offense

Good matchup vs. the Buccaneers defense.

After a red-hot performance against the Eagles in Week 14, last week was a bucket of ice water for the Dallas passing game in Indianapolis. Dak Prescott missed a number of available throws and Amari Cooper was abruptly silenced after an unstoppable 217-yard, three-touchdown effort in Week 14. Prescott has posted his best production split against questionable passing defenses at home this season, much like the matchup with Tampa Bay in Week 16. While Prescott has avoided interceptions as a general rule this season, Dallas has the fifth-highest sack rate allowed and has one of the lowest yards-per-completion averages (and big plays created through the air) in the NFL. The key has been missed connections by Dak Prescott and, of late, Michael Gallup on deep targets when separation has been created.

While Tampa Bay held down the run-centric Ravens passing offense last week, they have been an exploitable unit all season. The Buccaneers have allowed 30 passing touchdowns, second-most in the NFL, and an NFL-high 72% completion rate and 8.3 yards-per-attempt. Both of Tampa Bay’s outside cornerbacks are among the weakest in the NFL in coverage, including allowing quality games to middling receivers Curtis Samuel, Dante Pettis, Willie Snead, and Josh Doctson in recent weeks. On the plus side, Tampa Bay has been average in generating pressure and forcing turnovers, including three total sacks over the past two weeks, both in losses. Amari Cooper should see significant time on Brent Grimes this week which is a tremendous bounce-back spot for the wide receiver facing the aging veteran who is no longer the player he was earlier in his career.

Cowboys vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)10 (-1.6)10 (-1.6)8 (-1.7)9 (-1.9)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)10 (-2.3)10 (-2.4)8 (-2.3)9 (-2.8)
12Colt McCoy63243826823528021.221.218.518.5
13Drew Brees521828127111209.
14Carson Wentz522232228304-3023.123.118.819.8
15Andrew Luck72162719200620011.611.69.79.7

Jameis Winston (FanDuel: $7000, DraftKings: $5500)

13vs CAR65203024920548025.325.322.822.8
14vs NO70183821321547022.422.420.220.2
15@ BAL501325157012006.
16PROJ-Dodds23352571.41.25250.120.320.320.3 (H=52)20.3 (H=66)
16PROJ-Tremblay21342491.31.25250.119.519.519.5 (H=49)19.5 (H=62)
16PROJ-Bloom14251431.20.96290.114.614.614.6 (H=29)14.6 (H=37)

Cowboys vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)6 (-3.2)9 (-2.6)9 (-3.0)9 (-2.9)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)12 (-1.7)13 (-1.1)12 (-1.7)13 (-1.3)
12Kapri Bibbs353171331909.612.611.112.6
12Adrian Peterson271235022904.
13Alvin Kamara35113601183607.
13Mark Ingram21727032102.
14Darren Sproles22120333419.612.611.112.6
14Josh Adams21736000003.
15Marlon Mack442713921110026.927.925.429.9
15Nyheim Hines296190644506.410.48.410.4

Peyton Barber (FanDuel: $5600, DraftKings: $3600)

13vs CAR4016451100010.510.58.59.5
14vs NO321442021204.
15@ BAL3219851224014.916.915.916.9
16PROJ-Dodds15540.31908.19.18.6 (H=14)9.1 (H=25)
16PROJ-Tremblay16570.321008.510.59.5 (H=17)10.5 (H=32)
16PROJ-Bloom18650.51309.810.810.3 (H=20)10.8 (H=34)

Jacquizz Rodgers (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3300)

13vs CAR150000000000.00.0
14vs NO314160543805.
15@ BAL1300011100.
16PROJ-Dodds27021502.24.23.2 (H=3)4.2 (H=7)
16PROJ-Tremblay15021401.93.92.9 (H=2)3.9 (H=6)
16PROJ-Bloom2601501.12.11.6 (H=1)2.1 (H=2)

Ronald Jones II (FanDuel: $4600, DraftKings: $3100)

13vs CAR942000000.
14vs NO40000000000.00.0
15@ BAL400021-10-
16PROJ-Dodds1401500.91.91.4 (H=0)1.9 (H=1)
16PROJ-Tremblay1501400.91.91.4 (H=0)1.9 (H=1)
16PROJ-Bloom000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Cowboys vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)4 (-5.0)3 (-7.0)3 (-6.3)3 (-7.7)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)7 (-6.2)6 (-8.6)7 (-7.4)5 (-9.4)
12Trey Quinn46652610008.613.611.113.6
12Josh Doctson591066600006.612.69.612.6
13Keith Kirkwood27313010009.010.09.510.0
13Michael Thomas51854000004.
14Alshon Jeffery519650100011.
14Nelson Agholor49324900004.
15T.Y. Hilton41858500008.513.511.013.5
15Ryan Grant17221600001.

Mike Evans (FanDuel: $7200, DraftKings: $6800)

13vs CAR57644800004.
14vs NO61648600008.612.610.612.6
15@ BAL4594121000012.
16PROJ-Dodds5810.30009.914.912.4 (H=21)14.9 (H=31)
16PROJ-Tremblay4620.20007.411.49.4 (H=13)11.4 (H=19)
16PROJ-Bloom4650.50009.513.511.5 (H=19)13.5 (H=26)

Chris Godwin (FanDuel: $5200, DraftKings: $4300)

13vs CAR5265101100016.121.118.624.1
14vs NO601011300001.
15@ BAL413000000000.00.0
16PROJ-Dodds5580.30007.612.610.1 (H=21)12.6 (H=37)
16PROJ-Tremblay4480.20006108.0 (H=14)10.0 (H=25)
16PROJ-Bloom2230.20003.55.54.5 (H=5)5.5 (H=8)

Adam Humphries (FanDuel: $5800, DraftKings: $4700)

13vs CAR419761100012.119.115.619.1
14vs NO57844200004.
15@ BAL29642300002.
16PROJ-Dodds5570.30007.512.510.1 (H=18)12.6 (H=34)
16PROJ-Tremblay5520.30007129.6 (H=17)12.1 (H=31)
16PROJ-Bloom4320.3000597.1 (H=10)9.1 (H=19)

DeSean Jackson (FanDuel: $5500, DraftKings: $4700)

16PROJ-Dodds2280.2000465.0 (H=5)6.0 (H=9)
16PROJ-Tremblay3420.20005.48.46.9 (H=10)8.4 (H=16)
16PROJ-Bloom000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Cowboys vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)18 (+0.9)20 (+1.9)19T (+1.4)21 (+1.9)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)25 (+2.6)25 (+3.1)25 (+2.9)25 (+3.0)
12Vernon Davis264273113.315.314.315.3
13Dan Arnold12222002.
14Dallas Goedert315444110.414.412.414.4
15Eric Ebron3831800.

Cameron Brate (FanDuel: $5200, DraftKings: $3900)

13vs CAR44633603.
14vs NO464212213.
15@ BAL4121900.
16PROJ-Dodds3320. (H=11)8.6 (H=21)
16PROJ-Tremblay4350. (H=12)9.3 (H=24)
16PROJ-Bloom2150. (H=3)4.7 (H=7)

Antony Auclair (FanDuel: $4000, DraftKings: $2500)

13vs CAR310000000.00.0
14vs NO23111201.
15@ BAL260000000.00.0
16PROJ-Dodds1600.61.61.1 (H=0)1.6 (H=1)
16PROJ-Tremblay1500.51.51.0 (H=0)1.5 (H=1)

Cowboys vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)13T (-0.2)13T (-0.2)12 (-0.4) (+0.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)18 (-0.4)18 (-0.4)16 (-0.7) (+0.0)
12Dustin Hopkins1123555.05.0
13Wil Lutz1111444.04.0
14Jake Elliott1123555.05.0
15Adam Vinatieri3322111113.013.0

Cairo Santos (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

13vs CAR1133666.06.0
14vs NO0222222.02.0
15@ BAL2200666.06.0

Cowboys vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)21 (+0.6)21 (+0.6)21 (+1.2)21 (+1.2)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)23 (+1.7)23 (+1.7)29 (+4.2)29 (+4.2)
12Washington Redskins3140440000443.03.0
13New Orleans Saints1330870200111115.015.0
14Philadelphia Eagles2957632100998.08.0
15Indianapolis Colts0292311007719.019.0

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (FanDuel: $3500, DraftKings: $2300)

13vs CAR17.0044444000121213.013.0
14vs NO28.0029811100554.04.0
15@ BAL20.0037020200667.07.0
16PROJ-Dodds26.703852.50.80.600. (H=15)6.7 (H=23)
16PROJ-Tremblay26.753872.10.90.500. (H=13)6.3 (H=21)

Buccaneers vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)29 (+3.3)29 (+3.3)29 (+3.1)29 (+3.5)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)14 (-0.3)13 (-0.3)14 (-0.9)15 (-0.4)
12Nick Mullens641832221122-1013.013.010.710.7
13Cam Newton69284130024633022.322.319.322.3
14Drew Brees642431201113-1119.019.014.915.9
15Lamar Jackson771423131101895020.120.116.717.7

Dak Prescott (FanDuel: $7300, DraftKings: $5700)

13vs NO71242824810522018.618.614.115.1
14vs PHI99425445532420333326.430.4
15@ IND692439206010009.
16PROJ-Dodds23332581.70.84180.322.522.522.5 (H=60)22.5 (H=77)
16PROJ-Tremblay21332461.60.95240.422.622.622.6 (H=60)22.6 (H=77)
16PROJ-Bloom21302161.50.83110.318.918.918.9 (H=44)18.9 (H=57)

Buccaneers vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)28 (+4.0)28 (+3.9)28 (+4.2)28 (+5.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)23 (+2.6)24 (+2.4)25 (+3.2)26 (+4.5)
12Matt Breida311410604334014.017.015.520.0
12Jeff Wilson25733011804.
13Christian McCaffrey7010106010955122.131.126.634.1
13Alex Armah100000000.
14Mark Ingram2913521311011.312.311.812.3
14Alvin Kamara4112510653608.713.713.215.7
15Gus Edwards33191041000016.416.416.419.4
15Kenneth Dixon401148011205.

Ezekiel Elliott (FanDuel: $8800, DraftKings: $9000)

13vs NO63237606660119.625.622.625.6
14vs PHI86281130131279019.
15@ IND61188708741012.819.814.318.8
16PROJ-Dodds231050.76420. (H=52)26.1 (H=63)
16PROJ-Tremblay221040.65380.2192421.5 (H=46)24.0 (H=54)
16PROJ-Bloom22900.65300.216.821.819.3 (H=38)21.8 (H=46)

Rod Smith (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $4000)

13vs NO832000000.
14vs PHI134270221604.
15@ IND6314000001.
16PROJ-Dodds3120.11402.23.22.7 (H=2)3.2 (H=3)
16PROJ-Tremblay290.1150232.5 (H=2)3.0 (H=3)
16PROJ-Bloom000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Buccaneers vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)26 (+2.3)28 (+3.1)27 (+2.7)28 (+3.1)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)11 (-2.3)12 (-3.2)11 (-2.8)11 (-4.0)
12Dante Pettis587477100013.717.715.717.7
12Richie James31222700002.
13Curtis Samuel581168801809.615.612.615.6
13Devin Funchess32311010007.
14Michael Thomas5813119800009.820.815.320.8
14Keith Kirkwood22222100002.
15Chris Moore2611511-506.
15Willie Snead59655800005.810.88.310.8

Amari Cooper (FanDuel: $7000, DraftKings: $7500)

13vs NO56887500007.515.59.514.5
14vs PHI901310217300039.749.744.752.7
15@ IND547432011104.
16PROJ-Dodds5790.600011.516.514.0 (H=27)16.5 (H=34)
16PROJ-Tremblay5770.601011.416.413.9 (H=27)16.4 (H=33)
16PROJ-Bloom6720.700011.417.414.4 (H=28)17.4 (H=37)

Michael Gallup (FanDuel: $5000, DraftKings: $3500)

13vs NO52757600007.612.610.112.6
14vs PHI77942400002.
15@ IND550000000000.00.0
16PROJ-Dodds3370.20004.97.96.4 (H=9)7.9 (H=20)
16PROJ-Tremblay3360.20004.87.86.3 (H=9)7.8 (H=20)
16PROJ-Bloom3410.30005.98.97.4 (H=12)8.9 (H=25)

Cole Beasley (FanDuel: $4900, DraftKings: $3600)

13vs NO4732900000.
14vs PHI65421800001.
15@ IND44744200004.
16PROJ-Dodds3350.20004.77.76.3 (H=9)7.8 (H=19)
16PROJ-Tremblay3320.20004.47.46.0 (H=9)7.5 (H=18)
16PROJ-Bloom3260.10003.26.24.8 (H=6)6.3 (H=13)

Allen Hurns (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

13vs NO160000000000.00.0
14vs PHI2711900000.
15@ IND2221900000.
16PROJ-Dodds1100.10001.62.62.1 (H=1)2.6 (H=3)
16PROJ-Tremblay170.10001.32.31.8 (H=1)2.3 (H=2)
16PROJ-Bloom000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Buccaneers vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)24 (+1.6)23 (+2.4)25 (+2.0)24T (+2.5)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)10 (-1.9)14 (-1.2)12 (-1.5)14 (-1.3)
12George Kittle601264805.811.88.811.8
13Ian Thomas53554604.
14Ben Watson28332402.
15Mark Andrews29423103.

Blake Jarwin (FanDuel: $4700, DraftKings: $3000)

13vs NO28111201.
14vs PHI58775605.612.69.112.6
15@ IND43744504.
16PROJ-Dodds2250. (H=6)5.7 (H=13)
16PROJ-Tremblay2230. (H=5)5.5 (H=12)
16PROJ-Bloom2250. (H=4)5.1 (H=11)

Dalton Schultz (FanDuel: $4000, DraftKings: $2500)

13vs NO4021700.
14vs PHI45333703.
15@ IND31432302.
16PROJ-Dodds1120. (H=2)2.8 (H=4)
16PROJ-Tremblay1130. (H=2)2.9 (H=5)
16PROJ-Bloom2220. (H=5)4.8 (H=12)

Buccaneers vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)15T (-0.2)15T (-0.2)9T (-0.3) (+0.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)15T (-0.7)15T (-0.7)9 (-1.4) (+0.0)
12Robbie Gould1101333.03.0
13Graham Gano1122555.05.0
14Wil Lutz2222888.08.0
15Justin Tucker2222888.08.0

Brett Maher (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

13vs NO2211778.08.0
14vs PHI3422111113.013.0
15@ IND0100000.00.0

Buccaneers vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)29 (+2.3)29 (+2.3)27 (+2.3)27 (+2.3)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)5 (-2.0)5 (-2.0)11T (-1.3)11T (-1.3)
12San Francisco 49ers2741210000111.01.0
13Carolina Panthers2431540100666.06.0
14New Orleans Saints1427941000669.09.0
15Baltimore Ravens1224111000337.07.0

Dallas Cowboys (FanDuel: $3700, DraftKings: $2600)

13vs NO10.0017621000448.08.0
14vs PHI23.0025620100444.04.0
15@ IND23.0037000100222.02.0
16PROJ-Dodds20.003702.71.30.800.511.111.111.1 (H=34)11.1 (H=49)
16PROJ-Tremblay19.753712.51.30.800.510.910.910.9 (H=33)10.9 (H=48)