Trivia: Name something Tom Brady and Joe Montana have in common, other than they are both right-handed and have multiple Super Bowl rings.
Answer: They own the Cowboys.
Both Brady and Montana are 5-0 against the Cowboys. No other quarterback has at least five starts against the Cowboys and is undefeated. So that’s a good sign for tomorrow night, no?
Jenna Laine of ESPN has interesting data. The Cowboys love to play man defense in the secondary. And they have most of their secondary intact returning from last year’s season-opener against the Bucs.
No team played more man coverage than the Cowboys last season at 62%. Dallas returns seven of its top nine defensive backs by snaps played from last season. In last season’s Week 1 meeting, it allowed Brady to throw four TDs against its man coverage but did not allow more than two passing touchdowns against man coverage in any other game.
On face value that appears to be a great sign for the Bucs, but remember two guys who played a major role in their passing game last year won’t be on the field, and a third guy might not be.
The Bucs could be down three guys from last year’s game that amassed 316 yards receiving and four touchdowns in nutcase Antonio Brown (121 yards, touchdown), Chris Godwin (105 yards, touchdown) and foot-rubbing Rob Gronkowski (90 yards, two touchdowns).
While apples-to-apples it appears Brady should roast the Cowboys once again, who will step up and fill those numbers?
That’s a lot of offense to replace.
Also remember last year’s game was the first for Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. It stands to reason that everything about Quinn’s defense is better.
This content was originally published here.