BUCS : AFTER THE DUST SETTLES : DALLAS
By Leo Haggerty

It didn’t hurt so much that the 5-10 Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the 9-6 Dallas Cowboys 27-20 at AT&T Stadium. That, according to the betting line which had the Pewter Pirates a road underdog, was not surprising. It’s how the Bucs went down to defeat that was mind-boggling to say the least.

One huge call by HC Dirk Koetter and his staff directly affected the outcome. With the Bucs trailing 27-13 after the

Cowboys converted a second QB Jameis Winston fumble into a two-play scoring drive, Tampa Bay went on a 17-play, 73 yards drive that had the Pewter Pirates facing a fourth-and-one at the Dallas 2-yard line.

Then, for some unknown reason, the Buccaneers let the play clock run out without calling a time out. So, instead of needing a yard for a first down and two for a score, the Bucs now faced a fourth-and-6 to keep possession.

Sadly, #3 was forced to scramble and came up a yard short. Instead of Tampa Bay getting within a score with just under eight minutes to go in the tilt, the Bucs were still down two scores.

A late Winston to WR Mike Evans score at 2:05 was too little and too late. The Cowboys recovered the onside kick attempt and ran out the clock.

Obviously, the entire Buccaneers coaching staff was asleep at the wheel in allowing the play clock to expire and costing the team a pivotal five-yard penalty. Also, Winston should have realized that Tampa Bay wasn’t going to get a play off and called a time out.

This is totally inexcusable especially when the outcome of the game is hanging in the balance. It is also the straw that broke the camel’s back for this regime.

I have never in all my years as a journalist called for a head coach to be fired until now. This is why the Tampa Bay ownership need to make a coaching change and, possibly, rethink as well as scrutinize the roster.

Memo to the Grazer. Sadly, it’s time to make a change because, for whatever reason, this isn’t working.