Buccaneers vs. Cowboys 2012: Game Preview, Kickoff Time, TV Schedule And More

September 9, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA;Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) throws the ball in the second quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will need to tighten things up on defense as they travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys this Sunday.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Dallas Cowboys enter Sunday's matchup with identical 1-1 records. Both teams won their season openers, only to falter in Week 2. That kind of inconsistency won't get either team very far this season, and both will be looking to get back in track in Week 3.

The Bucs nearly beat the New York Giants on the road last week in East Rutherford, but gave up 25 points in the fourth quarter. With five seconds left in regulation and trailing 41-34, the Bucs tried to ram the Giants offensive line in an attempt to force Eli Manning to fumble, who was taking a knee. The move sparked a lot of debate, but first-year head coach Greg Schiano dismissed the criticism, calling the move, "clean, hard football."

Offensively, the Cowboys and Bucaneers are relatively close, averaging 365 and 283 yards respectively. But the biggest gap lies on the defensive side of the ball.

Tampa gives up an average of 453 yards per game while Dallas averages just 292 yards surrendered per game. It's clear that if the Bucs are going to have a chance, they'll need to tighten things up on the defensive end, but also exploit the ground game. The Cowboys are giving up an average of 132 rushing yards per game this season.

As for injuries, Tampa Bay had several players participate in practice on Thursday which means they should be good to go on Sunday. Cornerbacks E.J. Biggers, Eric Wright and Anthony Gaitor all participated fully in practice along with wide receiver Preston Parker.

Unable to participate were linebacker Quincy Black, defensive end Adrian Clayborn and wide receiver Sammie Stroughter.

Game Date/Kickoff Time: Sunday, Sept. 23 at 1 p.m. ET

TV: Fox

Read more on the Bucs at Bucs Nation and SB Nation Tampa Bay. For more on the Cowboys, check out Blogging the Boys and SB Nation Dallas. For more news and information on the NFL, check out SB Nation's NFL Hub Page.

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