Cowboys vs. Buccaneers final score, results: Dallas sends Tom Brady, Tampa home with dominant wild-card win


Did it all end for Tom Brady on Monday night?

10 months after the legendary quarterback came out of a brief retirement, the first sub-.500 season of his career ended with one final thud: A 31-14 home loss to the Cowboys.

Both offenses looked shaky in the early minutes, but only one recovered. The Cowboys carved up Tampa’s defense, putting together five touchdown drives behind a tremendous night from Dak Prescott.

Prescott finished 25-of-33 for 308 yards and five total touchdowns, managing one of the best performances of his career despite a shaky finish to the regular season. 

On a night in which Dallas’ defense looked as fast as it did early in the season and the offense was at its best, the only negative for the Cowboys might’ve been Brett Maher’s struggles.

MORE: Peyton Manning, Dak Prescott react to Brett Maher’s record-setting PAT miss in Cowboys vs. Buccaneers

Maher missed a record four extra-points before mercifully sending one through after the team’s fifth and final touchdown. Maher is fortunate his misses are only a footnote in an otherwise terrific night for the Cowboys, but the kicker role will be a question for Dallas heading into the divisional round.

The Buccaneers have questions of their own, the biggest of which is Brady. The 45-year-old has to first decide whether he wants to continue playing. If he does, he’ll be able to explore his options in free agency this spring.

MORE: ESPN hits Tom Brady with classic announcer’s jinx ahead of QB’s first red-zone interception as a Buccaneer

Whether Brady returns or not, a Tampa team that went 8-9 and lost much of its identity under Todd Bowles has some tough decisions to make.

The Cowboys, meanwhile, are headed to San Francisco to face the 49ers team that eliminated them a year ago.

Dallas got over one hump on Monday by winning its first road playoff game in 30 years, and it can get over another by reaching the NFC Championship Game for the first time since 1995.

MORE: Watch NFL playoff games live with fuboTV (free trial)

The Sporting News tracked live scoring updates and highlights as the Buccaneers hosted the Cowboys in the wild-card round of the NFL playoffs. Check out all of the key moments you might have missed.

Cowboys vs. Buccaneers score

  2 3 4
Cowboys 6 12 6 7 31
Buccaneers 0 0 6 8 14

Cowboys vs. Buccaneers live updates, highlights from NFL playoffs

(All times Eastern)

Final: Cowboys 31, Buccaneers 14

11:25 p.m. — The Buccaneers turn it over on downs, and the Cowboys can just run out the clock. Brady’s potential final pass is an incompletion to Julio Jones. The Cowboys pick up a dominant playoff win on the road and are headed to San Francisco to face the 49ers.

11:21 p.m. — Brady JUST misses on a deep ball to Evans. Off the fingertips. That would’ve been a touchdown.

11:18 p.m. TWO-MINUTE WARNING — Well, how about that? The Bucs execute a successful onside-kick. They’ll have the ball down 17 with two minutes remaining.

11:16 p.m. TOUCHDOWN — Brady hits Cameron Brate for a touchdown in what could be his last touchdown with the Bucs — or as an NFL player. That helps improve the box score for Tampa but little else.

11:13 p.m. — Gage has been loaded onto the cart and is coming off the field. He tried to get up a couple times after going down but couldn’t. Scary scene.

11:09 p.m. — Gage suffered what appeared to be a neck injury, and the cart is out to take him off the field. It’s an eerily familiar sight with this ESPN crew on the call but hopefully just an abundance of caution.

11:07 p.m. — Russell Gage is down for the Bucs with a potentially serious injury.

11:04 p.m. — The Buccaneers have the ball back in Cowboys territory, but it’s all semantics at this point. The score remains 31-6 with 4:14 remaining.

10:57 p.m. — Brady comes under pressure and throws it away on 4th & Goal. It’s Cowboys ball, and Brady’s chance for one final touchdown as a Buccaneer — maybe — fizzles out.

10:56 p.m. — Brady gets sacked by Johnathan Hankins on 3rd & Goal for a big loss. They’ll go for it, of course.

10:54 p.m. — Brady’s 50th pass of the night is taken down inside the 5-yard line by Cade Otton. The Bucs are on the doorstep but running low on time, to say the least.

10:51 p.m. — The Bucs are moving the ball here as Brady finds Evans for two big first downs. Great catch by Evans, confirmed by replay, to take Tampa past midfield.

Cowboys 31, Buccaneers 6

10:45 p.m. TOUCHDOWN — A wild sequence. Mike McCarthy pulls Maher off the field on 4th & 4, goes for it, and Prescott finds a wide open Lamb for the touchdown. Maher makes the extra point, which means this game is all but over.

10:43 p.m. — 3rd & 9 for the Cowboys. Will we see Maher get a field goal opportunity soon?

10:41 p.m. — Excellent play by Prescott, who gets the ball out quickly to avoid the blitz and hits Gallup to convert on third down.

10:40 p.m. — Noah Brown makes his presence felt with a nice catch-and-run for 14 yards. The Cowboys can turn the momentum back in their favor with some points on this drive.

Cowboys 24, Buccaneers 6

10:35 p.m. TOUCHDOWN — Wow, that was vintage Julio Jones. The former all-pro catches it on the run and scores to put the Buccaneers on the board. The two-point conversion is no good, so it’s still a three-possession game.

10:34 p.m. — Dallas forces Tampa into a 3rd & 7, but Evans goes 17 yards for the first down and more. 

10:32 p.m. — The Buccaneers are quickly up near midfield, and you have to ask where this was the rest of the night.

10:30 p.m. — Rachaad White takes off for the first down, and a pass to Godwin produces another first down for Tampa. The Bucs are starting to build a rhythm.

10:28 p.m. — Tampa is starting just a few yards out from the opposite end zone. Any kind of scoring drive is going to take a while with the way they’ve struggled to find big plays tonight.

10:25 p.m. — The Bucs do manage a stop and force a Cowboys punt. Every drive from this point on for Tampa requires some points.

10:24 p.m. — Tampa was generating a lot of pressure on those opening drives and just couldn’t sustain it, even with Jason Peters leaving the game. Prescott has more than enough time to throw. 

10:22 p.m. — The Buccaneers had a chance to stop Dallas’ offense, but Schultz picks up a first down to take the Cowboys to midfield. At this point, keeping the Bucs’ offense off the field is just as valuable as scoring points. 

10:16 p.m. — A really ugly drive for the Bucs, who are set to punt. Brady should’ve been intercepted on second down and was not on the same page as Evans on third down. Bad, bad, bad.

10:14 p.m. — The play is indeed overturned. Still Buccaneers ball in their own territory.

10:10 p.m. — They’re calling a Godwin fumble here, which would set up the Cowboys near the red zone, but replay may overturn this one…standby. 

Cowboys 24, Buccaneers 0

10:06 p.m. — The touchdown is CONFIRMED, but Maher misses a fourth consecutive extra point. Unbelievable. Maher is very lucky his record-setting night looks like it’ll only be a footnote.

10:02 p.m. TOUCHDOWN — Prescott somehow sneaks a ball through a defender’s arms and hits Gallup for a touchdown. The play is being reviewed to determine if Gallup stepped out of bounds before the catch, but it doesn’t look like it’ll be easy to overturn…

10:00 p.m. — The Cowboys are back on the doorstep of the end zone after a very impressive run by Pollard along the sideline.

9:58 p.m. — CeeDee Lamb got big-time separation and comes up with a huge gain on third down. The Cowboys are entering what would be field goal territory if Maher wasn’t missing kicks left and right.

9:56 p.m. — Wow, Schultz bobbles a pass from Prescott but somehow comes up with it while surrounded by defenders. Big gain for Dallas to open the drive.

9:53 p.m. — Brady misses Russell Gage on 2nd & 4, and a third down pass to Godwin is broken up. The Bucs go three-and-out to open the half.

End of first half: Cowboys 18, Buccaneers 0

9:39 p.m. — Micah Parsons was limping around after the final play of the second half. That’s a potential major concern for the Cowboys.

9:38 p.m. — Dan Quinn with an 18-0 lead on Tom Brady in the second half. What could go wrong? In all seriousness, there’s no reason to believe in this Buccaneers offense based on what we’ve seen this season.

9:34 p.m. — The Buccaneers are trying to get whatever they can here, but they’re still in their own territory with 14 seconds left. Tampa does open the second half with the ball.

Cowboys 18, Buccaneers 0

9:30 p.m. TOUCHDOWN — Prescott hits Schultz for the tight end’s second score of the game! The seventh-year QB is fully in command right now, and so are the Cowboys. Maher misses AGAIN, so it’s 18-0.

9:28 p.m. — Wow, the Cowboys get set back to 2nd & 15 after a bad delay of game penalty but still convert on a 20-yard pass up the middle to CeeDee Lamb. I’d like to say Dallas is in field goal range, but Maher offers no confidence so far.

9:26 p.m. — Prescott takes off for a big third down conversion with his legs. He put his body on the line for some extra yardage on that run.

9:18 p.m. TWO-MINUTE WARNING — Prescott hits Schultz for a 20-yard gain. The Cowboys are looking for points in the final two minutes of the half, and they’d very much like to keep the Bucs from getting another possession considering Tampa starts the second half with the ball.

9:17 p.m. — Prescott looks much more in-command than he did on the Cowboys’ first two drives. The broadcast said Mike McCarthy wanted to establish a rhythm early to rebuild his confidence, but the natural flow of the game has done a better job of that.

9:14 p.m. — Godwin gets close to the first down marker but not close enough. Buccaneers opt to punt from near midfield. The Cowboys have a chance to take a commanding lead on this drive.

9:13 p.m. — The Bucs were able to get a quick first down but now face 3rd & 13. Osa Odighizuwa blew up a Rachaad White run for a loss to change this drive.

Cowboys 12, Buccaneers 0

9:06 p.m. TOUCHDOWN — The Cowboys go for it on 4th & Goal and fool Tampa’s defense! Prescott runs it in after the fake for the score. Maher misses another extra point, for whatever reason, but it’s a two-possession lead for Dallas.

9:05 p.m. — A holding penalty on Dalton Schultz set the Cowboys back, but they’re back on the doorstep of a touchdown on 3rd & Goal.

9:03 p.m. — Huge play by Jake Ferguson. The rookie tight end gets plenty of running room and rumbles his way deep into the red zone. 34-yard pickup.

9:02 p.m. — Both offenses are converting third downs at a high rate now. T.Y. Hilton with a nice catch-and-run to take Dallas into Bucs territory.

9:01 p.m. — The running game has not been efficient for the Cowboys aside from the one Pollard run. Buccaneers are doing what they do best in that department.

9:00 p.m. — The Cowboys pick convert a key third down to keep their drive alive. Still in their own territory and moving the ball more slowly than their last drive.

8:56 p.m. INTERCEPTION — Wow, a rare red zone interception by Brady. Jayron Kearse grabs the pass in the back of the end zone and takes a knee. Wasted opportunity by the Bucs, to say the least.

End of first quarter: Cowboys 6, Buccaneers 0

8:52 p.m. — Brady again comes under pressure but flips it to Godwin, who takes off the first down and more. 1st & Goal, Tampa Bay. 

8:51 p.m. — Another big third down coming for the Buccaneers as they enter the red zone.

8:50 p.m. — Mike Evans comes through with a big catch on third down to take the Bucs down to the edge of the red zone. It’s not coming easy for Tampa, but the offense is executing when it matters.

8:46 p.m. — The Buccaneers are up to midfield after a first down catch by Chris Godwin. Godwin had two defenders near him but had enough separation to make the catch.

8:45 p.m. — Rachaad White fools Trevon Diggs on 3rd & 7 and wiggles his way to a first down.

Cowboys 6, Buccaneers 0

8:39 p.m. TOUCHDOWN — Prescott throws to an open Dalton Schultz in the end zone! Cowboys have found a rhythm and are on the board, but Brett Maher’s extra point missed badly. 

8:38 p.m. — Tony Pollard with a nice run to take the Cowboys to the edge of the red zone. Pollard is seeing a healthy amount of work early on, which will make Dallas fans happy.

8:36 p.m. — The Buccaneers are consistently pressuring Prescott even without Shaquil Barrett, who tore his Achilles in October. This time, though, Akiem Hicks gets called for roughing the passer. He landed on Prescott after the pass. Cowboys are into Bucs territory.

8:34 p.m. — Finally, we have a first down in this game! Michael Gallup jumps up high to come down with a 15-yard pass from Prescott.

8:31 p.m. — We are getting another punt. Jayron Kearse deflects a pass into the air and it falls for an incompletion. No one has a first down yet.

8:25 p.m. — The Cowboys’ offense looks nervous early on. Dak Prescott gets sacked on third down to quickly end Dallas’ second drive. That’s Vita Vea who wraps him up.

8:21 p.m. — The Buccaneers are punting after the dynamic duo of an incompletion and a holding call on 3rd & 13. Two three-and-outs in the first 77 seconds.

8:19 p.m. — The Buccaneers’ drive starts with Micah Parsons blowing up a Rachaad White run for a loss. He’s been very vocal coming into this game and backed it up there.

8:18 p.m. — The Buccaneers force a punt after 13 seconds. That’s not the start the Cowboys wanted.

8:17 p.m. — The Cowboys start with two short throws, but both fall incomplete. Prescott doesn’t look comfortable yet.

8:15 p.m. — The Buccaneers won the toss and deferred, so Dak Prescott and the Cowboys will have a chance to strike first. Here we go.

8:10 p.m. — A lot of pressure on Mike McCarthy tonight. Back-to-back 12-win seasons won’t shield him from criticism if the Cowboys go another year without a playoff win.

7:52 p.m. — Is this the last time we see Tom Brady in a Buccaneers uniform? Or in any uniform? The 45-year-old retired for 40 days last year but may be looking to play a 24th NFL season.

7:46 p.m. — It’s about 57 degrees in Tampa right now, with little wind. Not the warmest night for a game in Florida, but great conditions overall.

7:36 p.m. — It feels like there’s more pressure on the Cowboys than the Buccaneers tonight. Dallas can’t waste another 12-win season and lose to a sub-.500 team on Wild Card Weekend without consequences.

7:09 p.m. — All eyes are on Tom Brady, but how about this guy? Leonard Fournette has been a huge factor for the Bucs in the playoffs before and would add a new element to the offense if he can step it up tonight.

Cowboys vs. Buccaneers start time

  • Date: Monday, Jan. 16
  • Time: 8:15 p.m. ET 

The wild-card playoff matchup between the Cowboys and Buccaneers will kick off at 8:15 p.m. ET from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. 

What channel is Cowboys vs. Buccaneers on today?

  • TV channel (national): ESPN, ABC
  • TV channel (Dallas): WFAA
  • TV channel (Tampa): WFTS-TV
  • TV channels (Canada): TSN2/4, CTV
  • Live streams: ESPN+ | fuboTV (US) | DAZN (Canada)

Cowboys vs. Buccaneers will be broadcast nationally on ESPN and ABC, with Joe Buck (play-by-play), Troy Aikman (color analyst), and Lisa Salters (sideline reporter) on the call from Tampa

In Canada, the game will air on TSN2/4 and CTV.

NFL playoff schedule: Wild-card round

Saturday, Jan. 14

Matchup Start time TV channel Live stream Tickets
Seahawks vs. 49ers 4:30 p.m. ET Fox FoxSports.com, fuboTV Buy tickets
Chargers vs. Jaguars 8:15 p.m. ET NBC Peacock, fuboTV Buy tickets

Sunday, Jan. 15

Monday, Jan. 16

Matchup Start time TV channel Live stream Tickets
Cowboys vs. Buccaneers 8:15 p.m. ET ESPN, ABC ESPN+, fuboTV Buy tickets

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