The 2021 NFL schedule is set to be released this evening, but some games have already been announced and/or leaked. Among the biggest games that have been made known isย  a week one matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

America’s Team will take on the defending Super Bowl champions to kickoff the 2021 season. It will be the first regular season game of the new league year. Tampa Bay will hoist their championship banner — Tom Brady’s seventh title ring — while the Cowboys attempt to play spoiler.

It will also mark Dak Prescott’s return to the football field. Prescott suffered a gruesome leg injury in week five’s win over the New York Giants that ended the rest of his season. The injury was an emotional situation for a variety of things. For one, the reaction from Prescott and his teammates tugged at everyone’s heart. Secondly, Prescott was playing a “prove it” season and had no financial security beyond the 2020 season.

Since then, Dak Prescott has worked extremely hard in his rehab — some believe that he has been ahead of schedule for the past few months — and the Cowboys rewarded their franchise quarterback with a heft contract. Only Patrick Mahomes has signed a richer contract in NFL history.

ALL EYES WILL BE WATCHING IN WEEK ONE

Dallas Cowboys
Jan 5, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) reacts to running down to the one yard line in the fourth quarter in a NFC Wild Card playoff football game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay returns all 22 of their Super Bowl starters — an unheard of feat in the modern NFL. The Buccaneers will enter the 2021 season as the favorites to win next year’s Super Bowl as they look to go back-to-back with Tom Brady behind center.

Make no mistake though, all eyes will be on Dak Prescott in the highly-anticipated week one battle between the Cowboys and the Buccaneers.

Prescott is one of the most heavily scrutinized players in the NFL. That comes with the territory as the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys. You are always under the microscope. That will certainly be the case in week one as all eyes will be glued to the television for the first game of the season.

BIG OPPORTUNITY AWAITS PRESCOTT

Dallas Cowboys Dak Prescott
Jan 5, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) reacts to running to the one yard line in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks in a NFC Wild Card playoff football game at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Making Prescott’s return to the football field come against the reigning Super Bowl champions in the kickoff game of the season speaks volumes to how the NFL views Dak Prescott.

Prescott is an ascending player that has improved every season in the league, firmly solidifying himself as one of the best signal callers in all of football. His accuracy, ball placement, decision making, downfield throwing, and overall confidence have gone to another level over the past two seasons.

Week one against the Buccaneers will be the latest big stage for Prescott to perform on and show the world of how talented he really is. He will have a huge opportunity to prove his supporters right and his doubters wrong in front of huge national audience.

The Buccaneers have talent all over their defense. Vita Vea and Ndamukong Suh head line the defensive line. Devin White is a do-it-all linebacker. Antoine Winfield, Jr. is a stud in the secondary. That said, the Cowboys have the offensive firepower to more than compete in the game.

From Prescott to the wide receiver trio of Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup to Blake Jarwin at tight end, Ezekiel Elliott at running back, and a healthy offensive line, Mike McCarthy and Kellen Moore have a ton of toys to play with to give Tampa Bay fits.

One game won’t define Dak Prescott’s career. Regardless of how he performs in his first game back from a gruesome injury, Prescott has established himself as a top-level quarterback.

That said, it’s hard not to think about the opportunity that Prescott has in front of him right out of the gate. You have to believe that Prescott will be looking forward to making a splash in his return to the field. What better way than beating Tom Brady and the champs?

Featured image via Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

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