Turning Point

The Buccaneers have not had a losing record since opening day 2002 when they lost to the Saints. This week's game is an opportunity for the Bucs to show the league that they still plan on having a say in who wins the Super Bowl.

The Cowboys are on an emotional high after winning five consecutive games, and the Bucs are reeling after a poor performance on the road in San Francisco. The Bucs have the leadership to rebound, and they better do it quickly before NFC South leading Carolina extends its two game division lead. The Bucs were dominated by the Cowboys until the last two meetings. The Bucs first ever win against the Cowboys was a 27-7 triumph in 2000 at Raymond James, followed by a 10-6 win on the road in 2001. The Cowboys are 5-1 but they still do not get the respect they think they deserve and they most certainly view this game as a litmus test to see where they really stand amongst the NFL's elite. Bucs' fans were heartbroken when Bill Parcells left the team at the alter by declining the head coaching job he said he would take. It turns out that that was the best thing that could have happened because the team got Coach Jon Gruden instead. That does not mean it would not be extra sweet to beat the Tuna, and bring the over achieving Cowboys back to Earth. Keyshawn Johnson is known as a "Parcells guy", in other words Johnson respects Parcells way of coaching. Johnson's book would suggest otherwise, but when the Bucs fired Dungy, Key was the most outspoken Parcells supporter. Johnson will be out to play well in front of the man who coached him as a Jet, and hopefully he will. The Bucs will not win if Johnson has a repeat performance of his one catch for 4 yards outing at the 49ers last week. Keenan McCardell will have to continue making plays to help get Johnson back on track. With the defense centered on McCardell, Key will have more opportunities to get open. Contributions from the backfield will be a great help as well because the Cowboys athletic linebackers like to blitz leaving the dump off pass open for Michael Pittman to exploit. The Cowboys will be a tough team to beat, but Quincy Carter is still a young quarterback who can be confused by different coverages. Look for Monte Kiffin to pull some rabbits out of his head to keep Carter guessing. The defensive line will be hungry to make up for last week's trouncing so look for the Bucs to be a strong force once again. This is why the Bucs will win a tight one and finally tally a victory on their home turf.

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