The 2021 NFL season kicked off Thursday night with in a big way with a showdown between the Dallas Cowboys, and the defending champs, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Fans got exactly what they hoped for in the Week 1 matchup with a tight knit game that went all the way down to the final seconds.
Two players who were instrumental in keeping the game as close as it was were former Alabama players Amari Cooper and Trevon Diggs playing for the Cowboys.
Cooper, who is coming off of a 1,000 yard season, was more than happy to be reunited with starting quarterback Dak Prescott who missed a majority of the 2020 season with an ankle injury. Despite Prescott’s limited reps in the preseason, it looked as if he and Cooper never had played with each other for a decade.
Both were in complete sync throughout the entire game as Cooper caught 13 passes for 139 yards and two massive touchdowns with one being a go ahead score in the second half of the action.
Diggs, who is entering his second year in the league, proved to be trending the right direction for the Cowboys as he was in the right place at the right time in a big way.
During the first quarter of action Diggs intercepted Tom Brady on the first play of the team’s sixth drive of the game after it had just fumbled. Running back Leonard Fournette tipped a high pass and Diggs came rushing in to take advantage of the loose ball.
The turnover caused by Diggs led to a go ahead Cowboys field goal.
At the end of the game, when the Buccaneers were driving for a game winning score Diggs went airborne for a pass deflection intended for receiver Mike Evans who was wide open on a play.
Despite his tremendous effort it wasn’t enough to hold off Brady and the explosive offense from advancing into Cowboys territory and ultimately kicking the game winning field goal.
There was a lot more fight from the Cowboys than expected which it will hope to carry over into the rest of the season in an NFC East division that is up for grabs.
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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77