The NFL Schedule Release Special continues to lose its worth, but fans will surely take it.
In addition to other television networks announcing their first slate of games for the 2021 season, NBC's Mike Tirico shared on Wednesday morning that the Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face the Dallas Cowboys for the first Thursday Night matchup of the year, on Sept. 9. The Buccaneers quickly confirmed the schedule leak.
For the NFL, ratings can be expected to soar through the roof as the defending Super Bowl Champions will not only face America's Team, but the Cowboys should also welcome quarterback Dak Prescott back into their offense after he fractured his ankle during the early part of the 2020 season. Prescott has recently begun throwing on practice fields, shortly after signing a four-year, $160 million contract with Dallas in March.
With Prescott back in the fold, paired with an offseason dedicated to fixing its defense, the Cowboys should be expected to go toe-to-toe with the Buccaneers despite Dallas' measly 6-10 record a season ago.
Tampa Bay, meanwhile, kicks its run at a second consecutive Super Bowl on the same field that it won the title last year at Raymond James Stadium. The Buccaneers carry on the tradition of opening the season after winning the league championship and should feel pretty comfortable after becoming the first team to ever host, and win, a Super Bowl on their home turf earlier this year.
The Buccaneers will have momentum on their side, as well. Tampa Bay became the first team to return its entire Super Bowl-winning starting lineup since 1979 this offseason.
Stay tuned to AllBucs for further coverage of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 2021 schedule release, and other news and analysis.