Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2018 Bucs' Opponent in Question: Dallas Cowboys

The last in our opponent series, the Buccaneers will take on the Cowboys on December 23 in Arlington, Texas at AT&T Stadium. Here’s a few things to know about Dallas heading into the 2018 season.

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 18: Tight End Cameron Brate #84 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on December 18, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. The Buccaneers lost 26-20. (photo by Mike Carlson/Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

How'd they do in 2017?

The Cowboys finished with a 9-7 record and second in the NFC East behind the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles. They got off to a rocky start, going 2-3 prior to their Week 6 bye to start the season. Dallas' star running back Ezekiel Elliott was also caught up in a back and forth appeals process of a six-game suspension that was ultimately upheld, as he served the majority of it during Weeks 11-15. The Cowboys themselves were in the wildcard hunt until the last two weeks of the season. Dallas lost to Seattle at home on Christmas Eve and despite pulling off a win over the eventual Super Bowl champs in Week 17, missed the postseason.

The big story of Dallas' offseason was letting veteran wideout Dez Bryant go. In free agency, their lone addition came in the form of wide receiver Deonte Thompson from the Buffalo Bills. In the 2018 draft, they added two more receivers but not until rounds three and six. Instead, their first pick of the draft focused on the middle level of the defense, selecting linebacker Leighton Vander Esch out of Boise State with their 19th pick. Expectations have remained pretty stagnant for the Boys in Blue going into 2018. The Bucs won't be meeting them until Week 16, and by then will know exactly what team to expect at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Anything interesting between the two teams?

The two teams have played each other 18 times in their series history. They've met twice in the postseason, with Dallas taking both contests. The Cowboys own the series 14-4 overall (postseason and regular season). The last time the two teams met was on Sunday Night Football during the 2016 season. The Bucs were down two field goals with three minutes left in the game and remarkably got two chances to score before ultimately not being able to get past the Dallas defense. The Cowboys took the game 26-20.

What about off the field?

Literally off (and around) the field, is the stadium in which the Cowboys play. At the time of its construction, AT&T Stadium set a record for largest video display in the world. The centered jumbotron is larger than the basketball court. That was back in 2009. Since then, screens at EverBank Field have bested the size.

The facility in which the Cowboys train is equally as ostentatious. Located in Frisco, The Star is home to the Ford Center, which is the actual training facility as well as an entire entertainment district. The Ford Center has 12,000 seats for fans to watch training camp and a 60,000-square-foot gym. The compound also includes places to shop and dine.

So… what if I want to go?

If you want to see your Buccaneers in 'Jerry World' you'll have the chance come Week 16. There are plenty of flights to make the two-and-a-half hour trip into Dallas-Fort Worth airport. Tampa Bay and Dallas kickoff at 1 p.m. on December 23.