BUCS : GOAL LINE STAND : DALLAS
By Leo Haggerty

The Bucs travels to Jerry’s World to take on the Cowboys this Sunday. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 PM in Big D.

Tampa Bay is coming off a road loss to Baltimore. That dropped the Buccaneers to 5-9 and into a tie with Atlanta for the bottom spot in the National Football Conference South Division.

Dallas was shellacked at Indianapolis stopping the ‘Boys five-game winning streak. That put the NFC East division-leading Cowboys at 8-6 with Philadelphia still with a shot of capturing the top spot.

Below are my four goals the Bucs need to attain to come away with a win at AT&T Stadium. Enjoy.

1ST DOWN

PLAY FOR YOUR JOB

OK, let’s be real here. HC Dirk Koetter is gone after the season along with his entire coaching staff plus General Manager Jason Light and a majority, if not all, of the front office personnel.

The new regime will be scrutinizing the films of this season especially the last four games. They want to determine who they want to keep and who they want to jettison.

Very simple mantra here. You belly up and quit today, or next week, and you’ll probably be looking for employment elsewhere next season. That’s a fact.

2ND DOWN

PLAY FOR YOUR TEAMMATES

As a former player on the collegiate level, nothing made my blood boil more than a teammate that just laid down and gave up. It made the job of the other guys that much harder and, trust me when I tell you this, there were some harsh words and even altercations on the sidelines, it got ugly when the quitter was called out.

Now, I know I have never played on Sunday but I’m assuming this applies to the National Football League. I bet it even happens in high school.

Play hard for 60 minutes. Don’t let your teammates down. You owe them that much.

3RD DOWN

MAKE DAK BEAT YOU

The Cowboys are a run first, and run second, offense. Dallas wants to maul you with their battering-ram RB Ezekiel Elliott. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.

DC Mark Duffner knows this. He watched what the Colts did in shutting out the ‘Boys last week.

He wants to see if QB Dak Prescott can beat his defense on a consistent basis. Why, you ask? That’s because last week in Indy he couldn’t.

Look for the Pewter Pirates to load up the box and then take away WR Amari Cooper. Tampa Bay wants #4 to be the man.

In my opinion, that’s a good strategy. Now, make it work.

4TH DOWN

MAKE IT A 30 MINUTE GAME

The Buccaneers need to get to halftime with a lead or, at worst, within a score. That way the Bucs can stay two-dimensional but, more important than that, Dallas has to do the same.

If the Bucs are down double-digits, the Cowboys will just give the Tampa Bay defense a steady diet of #21. He’ll chew up yards as well as clock time and that will be the undoing of the Pewter Pirates.

Ok, call me crazy but I’m taking the Bucs. I think they have one last hurrah for Koetter and win one for the Dirkker. TB, 28-24, with WR Mike Evans having 10 catches and three TDs to lead the way and show the Pro Bowl voters how wrong they were for leaving him off the squad.