Game Ball:** LB Kwon Alexander racked up 21 tackles, the most by a Buccaneer all season, and forced a Jason Witten fumble near midfield got give the Bucs a prime comeback opportunity in the fourth quarter. While tackle totals have been compiled in different ways through the years, according to Statspass, which accesses press box totals, Alexander's 21 stops are the most by any Tampa Bay player in a single game. Hall of Fame LB Derrick Brooks had a pair of 20-tackle games in 2000 and 2001. Alexander added two tackles for loss, and helped set the tone in the second half after the Cowboys used their rushing attack to control the clock before halftime. The Buccaneers' defense is certainly not satisfied after allowing 449 yards of offense, but it showed heart with another touchdown-free second half, and Alexander was the driving force.
Play of the Game:** Had the Buccaneers held onto the 20-17 lead they grabbed in the third quarter, the game's biggest play would surely be WR Adam Humphries juggling, 42-yard touchdown catch to end the first drive of the second half. QB Jameis Winston faked a handoff and rolled left to begin the third-and-one play and had an option to either run for the first down or try for an underneath incompletion. Instead, he went for the home room and threw deep to Humphries, who had a step on the last Cowboys defender. The pass was nearly broken up but Humphries was able to hold on as he fell to the turf. Given that the Cowboys answered with their own rally to win the game, the most impactful play of the second half was probably Ezekiel Elliott's 42-yard run after the Buccaneers had pinned the Cowboys deep in their own territory in a three-point game.
Turning Point:** After the Buccaneers took a three-point lead in the second half, the Cowboys rallied to tie it on a Dan Bailey field goal early in the fourth quarter. Tampa Bay got the ball back with a chance to regain the lead but DT David Irving hit Winston's elbow on an attempted third-down throw and the resulting wobbler was intercepted by S Jeff Heath. That takeaway set up Bailey's go-ahead field goal and the Cowboys never trailed again.
It Was Over When: Winston's scrambling deep ball in the direction of Mike Evans was incomplete on third down with just over two minutes to play. It was not an easy attempt, but Evans had a step on the defense and, had the pass been complete, would have at the very least put the Bucs in position to get the winning score. Instead, Tampa Bay was forced to punt and, while the defense did get the ball back one more time, it was deep in Bucs territory with little time and no timeouts left.