John J. Raspanti
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1) invade Dallas feeling like they should be undefeated. The Bucs had the Super Bowl champion Giants down 24-13 at halftime. They ended up losing by the score of 41-34 as Giant quarterback Eli Manning torched them for 510 yards. The Cowboys are favored by -7 this week with a total of 46.5 at 5 Dimes Sportsbook and SBG Global. The betting trends at sportsbook.ag show us that while the Cowboys are getting more action than the Bucs, it’s not as lopsided as you might think, with 58% of the action on Dallas.
“They are Super Bowl champs and they’re playing at home,” said Bucs receiver ViNCent Jackson, who had five catches for 128 yards and a touchdown. “We knew they would come out in the second half, make some adjustments and put some things together.”
Tampa Bay defeated the Carolina Panthers 16-10 in their home opener. Through two Games, Quarterback Josh Freeman has completed 31 of 52 passes with three touchdowns and two interceptions. The Buc running Game has yet to get going. Running Doug Martin is averaging only 3.7 yards per carry. Wide receiver Jackson has caught nine passes for the season, with an average of 19 yards a catch. Mike Williams has caught five passes for 71 yards. Veteran Dallas Clark has grabbed six passes.
The Cowboys started the season with a bang, traveling to New York and knocking off the champion Giants 24-17. Quarterback Tony Romo was flawless that night. against the Seahawks last weekend, the Cowboy offense struggled. Romo has connected on 65 percent of his passes with Four scores. Running back DeMarco Murray has GAined 175 yards on the ground. Wide receivers Kevin Ogletree and Miles Austin have both caught nine passes and scored two touchdowns. Tough old tight end Jason Witten has grabbed six passes for 68 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Cowboys looked physically overmatched against the Seahawks.
“We want to be a team that can go out there and win and be consistent every week,” linebacker Sean Lee said Monday. “That’s the identity we’re working toward, tough, relentless, hard-nosed football team that’s going to be there.”
Lee leads the team with 26 tackles, iNCluding 12 assists. Inside linebacker Bruce Carter is second with 15 tackles. Anthony SpeNCer and DeMarcus Ward have collected two sacks.
Linebackers Mason Foster and LAvonte David are the leaders of the Buccaneer defense. Old reliable Rondo Barber has an interception and a sack.
The Cowboys are anxious to get back home to Dallas.
“Sunday can’t get here fast enough,” Witten said. “Today’s an important day of never really getting too high after a big win or too low after a loss.”
This week will tell us a lot about the 2012 Cowboys. In Our opinion, anything short of a dominating home win would be unACCeptable. A loss, or a sloppy win, and the Cowboys and there fans are in for another disappointing season. A dominating win, well, maybe you have something to look forward to. We’ll go with option #2 here as the Cowboys get their first taste of the home cooking this season while the Bucs travel a significant distaNCe for the 2nd week in a row. Cowboys -7