Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Game Awards: Buccaneers vs. Cowboys

Who got this week's game ball?


Game Ball:** Jameis Winston led the game-winning drive and scored the go-ahead points himself, and Bradley McDougald got the takeaway at the end of the game to seal it. Meanwhile, CB Sterling Moore finished the contest with an unassuming line of four solo tackles. Still, the game ball goes to Moore for his work on star wide receiver Dez Bryant. Cowboys QB Matt Cassel knew he needed to get the ball into the hands of his best playmaker, tossing 12 of his 30 passes in Bryant's direction and no more than five passes to any other player. Moore spent most of the afternoon covering Bryant and was able to hold him to five catches for 45 yards, with no play longer than 16 yards. Most importantly, Bryant didn't find the end zone all afternoon. That kept the game close enough for Winston and McDougald to win it in the end.

Play of the Game: The Buccaneers knew they had up to four chances to win the game from the one-yard line after a defensive holding call on Jeff Heath in the game's final minute. As the team knew from its heartbreaking loss at Washington in Week Seven, however, there was no guarantee they would get the ball across the goal line. This time, Offensive Coordinator Dirk Koetter dialed up the perfect call, with Winston faking a handoff to Martin up the middle and then spinning and sprinting out to his right. The Cowboys' edge defenders were caught by surprise and no one got close to the Bucs' quarterback as he loped across the goal-line for the winning points.


Photos from Buccaneers vs. Cowboys at Raymond James Stadium.

Turning Point:** After falling behind 6-3, it took the Bucs most of the game to come up with the go-ahead score. However, the game took a critical turn right before the second field goal that gave Dallas that lead. After converting on three of their first five third-down tries, the Cowboys handed off to RB Darren McFadden on third-and-three from the Bucs' 31 but first-year DE Howard Jones broke through the line and trapped McFadden for a four-yard loss. The Cowboys settled for Dan Bailey's 53-yard field goal instead of taking control early with a touchdown. From that point on, the Bucs' defense would clamp down on third downs, allowing just one more conversion the rest of the way, which is the main reason Dallas never scored again.

It Was Over When: McDougald made his leaping interception in the end zone with Bryant on his hip. Given Bryant's incredible athleticism and flair for the dramatic, it would not have been terribly surprising to see the Cowboys receiver make an incredible catch despite tight coverage. In fact, Bryant had helped send the Cowboys' previous game against Philadelphia into overtime with a dazzling catch over three defenders in the end zone. McDougald hit the ground in the end zone, rolled over and showed that he had possession of the ball, sending the Bucs' sideline into a wild celebration.

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