Bucs kick off season with Cowboys, first of record five prime-time games

Rick Stroud, Tampa Bay Times on

Published in Football

TAMPA, Fla. — Tom Brady will jog onto the field Sept. 9 and head to the north end zone at Raymond James Stadium, where he will let loose his ear-splitting, game-day primal scream of “Let’s goooooo!!!”

It will be the kickoff to the NFL’s 102nd season, and a nation will be watching the Super Bowl 55 champions begin the defense of their world title.

But there will be some other stars coming out of the visitors’ tunnel and not just the ones on the helmets of the Dallas Cowboys.

Quarterback Dak Prescott, who missed 11 games after suffering a compound fracture and the dislocation of his right ankle last season, will make his return for the Cowboys. He will be followed by offensive talents like running back Ezekiel Elliott and receivers Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb.

It’s Bucs-Cowboys, and America will be watching at 8:20 p.m. on NBC to see if the then-44-year-old Brady can kick around America’s Team.

But that’s just the appetizer for Bucs fans, who will be treated to watching their team on a club-record five prime-time nationally televised games.


Perhaps none will be more compelling than the Week 4 game at New England, where Brady spent 20 seasons.

The prodigal son will return to Gillette Stadium Oct. 3 for a Sunday Night Football game against former head coach Bill Belichick.

However, the NFL schedule-makers didn’t do Brady and the Bucs any favors. That game comes after a Week 3 game against the Rams in Los Angeles Sept. 26. It begins a stretch of three road games in four weeks.

The Bucs also appear in prime time Oct. 14 at Philadelphia in a Thursday night game (NFL Network/Amazon), host the Giants on Monday Night Football on Nov. 22 (ESPN) and vs. the Saints at Raymond James Stadium Dec. 19 on Sunday Night Football (NBC).


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