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Score updates, analysis of NFL season opener

The 2021 NFL season is finally here!

The regular season kicks off Thursday as the defending Super Bowl-champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers play host to the Dallas Cowboys. The game will mark Dak Prescott‘s much-anticipated return from a compound fracture and dislocated ankle last October. Prescott and the Cowboys’ promising offense – which is set to be without all-pro guard Zack Martin – will have a tough test out of the gates against a Buccaneers defense that surged during its Super Bowl run last season.

Meanwhile, Tom Brady will be making his record 300th career regular-season start against a Dallas defense looking to find its footing under new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

Stay here for updates from USA TODAY Sports, including Jori Epstein and Jarrett Bell on the scene in Tampa, throughout the action.

Cowboys-Buccaneers inactives

The Cowboys’ inactives for Thursday night are: safeties Malik Hooker and Israel Mukuamu, quarterback Will Grier, defensive ends Azur Kamara and Chauncey Golston, linebacker Luke Gifford and wide receiver Noah Brown.

The Buccaneers’ inactives are: quarterback Kyle Trask, running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn, wide receiver Jaelon Darden, offensive guard Nick Leverett, defensive lineman Khalil Davis and safeties Jordan Whitehead and Chris Cooper.

Cowboys-Buccaneers injury report

The Cowboys looked to be in good shape this week, with all of the players on their injury report listed as full participants by Wednesday. Starting right guard Zack Martin, however, figures to be out after testing positive for COVID-19.

The Buccaneers, meanwhile, will be without starting safety Jordan Whitehead as he continues to recover from a hamstring ailment.

Pregame reading

Get set for Thursday night’s matchup with some of our best recent stories on the Bucs-Cowboys tilt as well as predictions for the upcoming season.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Cowboys vs. Buccaneers score updates, live analysis of NFL opener

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