Football is back.
The reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host the Dallas Cowboys tonight, bringing the NFL its season-opening game from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
You can find out everything you need to know about the game below.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dallas Cowboys
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla.
When: Thursday, Sept. 9 at 8:20 P.M. ET
Odds (courtesy of Fanduel): Tampa Bay is favored by 8.5 points. The over/under is set at 51.5 points.
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- Final injury reports for Tampa Bay and Dallas
- Starting Bucs safety ruled out against the Cowboys
- Five Buccaneers to watch against the Cowboys
- Know your enemy Q&A with Cowboy Maven
- Buccaneers 2021 season preview
Buccaneers: Can Tom Brady become the first quarterback to lead his team to consecutive Super Bowl titles since... Tom Brady did it with the New England Patriots back in 2003-04?
That is the biggest question the Buccaneers face entering the 2021 season, and its starts with quite the test against the Cowboys - at least, on one side of the ball. Dallas' franchise quarterback Dak Prescott will make his long-awaited return to the gridiron on Thursday night after missing the majority of last year with a fractured ankle. Paired with an elite receiving trio of Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup and aided by star running back Ezekiel Elliott, Tampa Bay's defense is sure to have its hands full in week one.
Brady and Tampa Bay's offense, though, will face a young and rebuilding Dallas defense that should cause little-to-no issues for one of the NFL's top passing offenses a season ago, which got stronger this year with the addition of pass-catching back Giovani Bernard. Expect this to be a high-scoring affair, at least on one side.
Cowboys: The eyes of the nation are upon Prescott, looking to see if he can pick up where he left off before the devastating ankle injury. In three of his four full appearances before getting hurt, Prescott threw for over 400 yards, tossing nine touchdowns in that span.
Dallas fans, beyond monitoring their signal-caller, are anxious to see how Dan Quinn can fix the Cowboys' defense as he took over defensive coordinator duties this offseason. The Cowboys spent their first six draft picks and eight of their 11 in total on defenders this summer, highlighted by first-round linebacker Micah Parsons.
The Cowboys can boast possessing one of the league's best edge rushers in Demarcus Lawrence, but not much else on his side of the ball. The injection of young talent across every level of the unit should take some responsibilities off of Lawrence's plate, but facing the Buccaneers right out of the gate is quite the test for a new-look squad defensively.
Stay tuned to AllBucs for further coverage of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and other NFL news and analysis. Follow along on social media at @SIBuccaneers on Twitter and Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sports Illustrated on Facebook.