In a low-scoring contest, the only scores in the first half came from field goals, with Tampa Bay's Ryan Succop hitting four-of-five tries while the Cowboys only made it into field goal range once, with their first drive.
After their initial field goal to open the game, the Cowboys had nine more offensive drives in the game. They resulted in five punts, three turnovers-on-downs and one interception.
The only touchdown in the game came on a spectacular one-hand snag from Mike Evans on a five-yard goal-line fade in the endzone late in the third quarter, which would be the last score of any kind in the game.
It was far from Tom Brady's best performance, but the 45-year-old was more than serviceable, completing 18-of-27 passes for 212 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Evans was his top receiver, catching five of his seven targets for 71 yards and a touchdown, while Julio Jones had an impressive debut with his new team, catching three of his five targets – including a 48-yard bomb down the sideline – for 69 yards.
In his return from a torn ACL, Tampa Bay's other elite receiver Chris Godwin left the game after suffering a hamstring injury in the second quarter.
Leonard Fournette was excellent running the ball for the Bucs, tallying 127 yards from his 21 carries while also adding two catches for 10 yards.
For the Cowboys, Noah Brown (five catches for 68 yards) and Dalton Schultz (seven catches for 62 yards) were the only players to have more than Ceedee Lamb's 29 receiving yards, while Ezekiel Elliot led the way on the ground with 52 rushing yards from 10 carries.
Things went from bad-to-worse late in the fourth quarter when Cowboys franchise quarterback Dak Prescott was hit awkwardly on the hand as he released a throw, leaving the game with three minutes to play and not returning.
Speaking after the game, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones confirmed Prescott will need surgery on his hand and will miss multiple weeks.