It is finally here. Dallas Cowboys football is back after an offseason that felt like it would never end. The Cowboys take the field tonight in a real game with a meaningful outcome for the first time since January.

Dak Prescott will make his return to the excitement of many as the Cowboys attempt to spoil the Buccaneers’ championship celebration. There is a lot of unknown surrounding this Cowboys team, so tonight’s game will give us a clearer picture of where this team stands in 2021.

A few different members of the A to Z Dallas staff have come together to predict the outcome of the Dallas Cowboys’ season-opening matchup with the defending Super Bowl champs. To not much of a surprise, the consensus is that the Cowboys will begin the season in the loss column.

Cole Patterson

The Cowboys offense will be among the best in football with Dak Prescott behind center. Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup are as good of a wide receiver trio as there is in the league. A rejuvenated Ezekiel Elliott and the versatile Tony Pollard make up a strong running back duo.

All of that said, there are real, legitimate concerns on the defensive side of the ball. Defensive tackle is a big question mark. The secondary is filled with holes, notably at corner outside of Trevon Diggs. The improvement in pass rush remains to be seen.

Tampa Bay is returning all 22 starters from its championship-winning team — an unheard of stat. They’re playing at home and should be able to have their way with the Cowboys defense. The Buccaneers will put up points and take advantage of Dallas not having Zack Martin in the lineup.

PREDICTION: Buccaneers 31, Cowboys 23

Jackson Hanna

I’m going with my head and not my heart. With a young defense and Dak’s first action since his injury, i expect Dallas will fall behind early. After weathering the storm, Dak will have his signature second half explosion, but it won’t be enough.

PREDICTION: Buccaneers 41, Cowboys 34

Mauricio Rodriguez

I expect the Cowboys offense to show up and put some numbers on the scoreboard. However, the defensive backfield will likely struggle against the Bucs wide receivers in its first game of the season.

PREDICTION: Buccaneers 30, Cowboys 24

Shane Carter

The Super Bowl champs return all 22 starters from 2020 & the are the odds on favorites to repeat. Dallas invested the majority of its off-season on the defensive side of the ball & its shows. The Cowboys have taken great steps in improving the defense with coaching and personnel.

Tom Brady has played in 6 season openers following the Super Bowl, only losing once to Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. The streak continues tonight. Expect to see a reinvigorated offense and much improved defense, but experience wins this one.

PREDICTION: Buccaneers 31, Cowboys 24

************************************************************************

It is good to have football back. We will see if the Cowboys can pull off the upset and start the season with a big victory.

Featured image via Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports