A closer look at Tom Brady’s dominance of the Dallas Cowboys

TAMPA — As intangibles go, history says take Tom Brady and the points Monday night.

Of course, history has sidled up to Brady for some time now. The 45-year-old Bucs quarterback owns seven Super Bowl rings, the month of January (37-13 all-time record as a starter) and every major playoff passing record.

He also owns the Dallas Cowboys.

When the Bucs host Jerry Jones and Co. in the teams’ playoff opener Monday, Brady will seek his eighth win against Dallas in as many tries. He has taken “America’s Team” to the woodshed and the wire during his 23-season career, with performances that might be described as unflappable and unsightly. But even on his worst days against Dallas, he never has been star-struck.

Here’s a closer look (in chronological order) at each of Brady’s seven games against the Cowboys:

Patriots 12, Cowboys 0

Nov. 16, 2003

Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Massachusetts)

Brady’s line: 15 of 34, 212 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, 2 sacks

Brady wasn’t much of a factor, or even a story line, in his first clash with the Cowboys. The latest matchup of Dallas coach Bill Parcells against Bill Belichick — his longtime former lieutenant — captured most of the attention. Befitting this duel of defensive-minded coaches, the Patriots got three second-half interceptions to preserve the shutout. Brady’s highlights: a couple of long first-half completions (46 yards to Deion Branch, 57 to David Givens) when Dallas blitzed.

Patriots 48, Cowboys 27

Oct. 14, 2007

Texas Stadium (Irving, Texas)

Brady’s line: 31 of 46, 388 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INT, 3 sacks

One of Brady’s shining moments in an unblemished regular season full of them. In a battle of undefeated teams, he offset his first-half sack-fumble (returned for a touchdown) with a career-high five touchdown passes — a mark he’d match many times thereafter. After Dallas took a 24-21 lead early in the second half, Brady directed five consecutive scoring drives highlighted by a 69-yard TD pass to Donte’ Stallworth.

Patriots 20, Cowboys 16

Oct. 16, 2011

Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Massachusetts)

Brady’s line: 27 of 41, 289 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INT, 3 sacks

One of those days when Brady capped an afternoon of sloppiness with the sublime. When Dan Bailey gave Dallas a 16-13 lead with 5:48 remaining, Brady had accounted for two of the Patriots’ four turnovers and had engineered only one touchdown drive. But he completed eight of nine passes on his last drive of the day (which began with 2:31 to play), capping the 80-yard drive with an 8-yard TD pass over the middle to Aaron Hernandez with 22 seconds remaining.

Patriots 30, Cowboys 6

Oct. 11, 2015

AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas)

Brady’s line: 20 of 27, 275 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 5 sacks

With Cowboys starter Tony Romo out with a broken collarbone, his defense did its darndest to put Brady on the sideline as well. The five first-half sacks Brady suffered (including one resulting in a fumble) were his most in one game since 2001, but Dallas didn’t get to him after halftime. His highlights included a 59-yard touchdown pass to Julian Edelman, and a trademark 1-yard scoring sneak.

Patriots 13, Cowboys 9

Nov. 24, 2019

Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, Massachusetts)

Brady’s line: 17 of 37, 190 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 2 sacks

Brady was pedestrian — which may be putting it nicely — in a rain-soaked game in which New England’s top-ranked defense dominated. The Patriots’ lone touchdown drive (set up by a blocked punt) covered only 12 yards as Brady struggled with his accuracy and his targets struggled with drops. On the flip side, New England’s defense held Dallas without a touchdown for the first time all season.

Bucs 31, Cowboys 29

Sept. 9, 2021

Raymond James Stadium

Brady’s line: 32 of 50, 379 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INT

Playing before the first sold-out home audience of his Tampa Bay tenure, Brady delivered in darn near every way in this Thursday night prime-time season opener. There were two scoring passes to Rob Gronkowski (2 and 11 yards), a 47-yard scoring strike to Antonio Brown, and a vintage Brady comeback in the waning moments. After the Cowboys took a one-point lead on a Greg Zuerlein field goal with 1:24 to play, Brady completed five of his first seven passes on the ensuing drive — including a 20-yarder to Gronk and 24-yarder to Chris Godwin — to set up Ryan Succop’s winning 36-yard field goal with two seconds to play.

Bucs 19, Cowboys 3

Sept. 11, 2022

AT&T Stadium (Arlington, Texas)

Brady’s line: 18 of 27, 212 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 2 sacks

While Todd Bowles’ defense delivered arguably its best performance of the season, Brady and the offense displayed balance and efficiency — until approaching the red zone. The Bucs got inside the Dallas 30 on their first five possessions and had to settle for a Ryan Succop field-goal try every time (he made four). On two of those drives, Brady was sacked by Micah Parsons inside the 10-yard line on third down. Still, Brady was mostly solid, and Leonard Fournette was spectacular (21 carries, 127 yards).

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls

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