Tampa Bay won the Week 1 matchup between the two franchises, but this is the first matchup in Tampa since Sept. 9, 2021. The Buccaneers also won that contest in a 31-29 thriller.
The Cowboys lead the all-time series 15-6.
Dallas Cowboys - SIC score 86.6
The biggest absence for Dallas comes in starting right tackle Terence Steele. His absence, along with the ankle injury to center Tyler Biadasz, has caused a major shuffle on the offensive line.
Luckily for the Cowboys, Biadasz is back this week after logging back-to-back full practices on Thursday and Friday.
All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith has shifted to RT with rookie Tyler Smith playing outstanding at LT.
With Biadasz back at center, Connor McGovern can shift back to his natural position at LG.
With Biadasz out last week against the Commanders, the Cowboys managed just 64 rushing yards.
With Tampa Bay defensive lineman Vita Vea potentially back from his calf strain and Akiem Hicks healthy, the battle at the line of scrimmage will be key to who wins the game.
The Buccaneers ranked 15th in rushing yards allowed during the regular season.
The Cowboys are down their No. 2 and 3 cornerbacks in Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis, giving the Bucs a potential mismatch in the secondary for Chris Godwin and Julio Jones.
However, depth cornerback DaRon Bland has played incredibly well down the stretch and leads the team with 5 interceptions.
Middle linebacker Leighton Vander Esch had a scare with his troublesome neck in Week 15, but he should be ready for full usage against Tampa Bay.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - SIC score 87.4
While the Bucs have some red on their field view, none of the issues are new.
Center Ryan Jensen and left guard Aaron Stinnie were both injured during training camp, forcing Luke Goedeke and Robert Hainsey into action.
While Goedeke and Hainsey have filled in adequately, Tampa Bay ranked dead last in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns and rushing yards per attempt during the regular season.
To counter that, the Buccaneers have relied heavily on 45-year-old Tom Brady, with the most attempts in the league and second-most passing yards.
Coming back from his mid-December ACL tear, Chris Godwin logged his second straight 1,000 yard season.
On defense, outside linebacker Shaq Barrett is out with a torn Achilles he suffered Week 8.
Nose tackle Vita Vea is questionable with a calf strain that kept him out of Week 18 and will likely limit his effectiveness if he does suit up.
Cowboys vs. Buccaneers Wild Card Odds
Dallas is favored by 2.5 points on the road and the over/under is 45.5, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.