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NFL: Dallas Cowboys @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers reaction

The Dallas Cowboys eased to a 31-14 road win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday to complete the Divisional Round field and set up a clash with the San Francisco 49ers.

Dak Prescott upstaged Tom Brady on the night and attention swiftly turned to where the seven-time Super Bowl winner will be playing next season as the Bucs now begin the search for a new franchise quarterback.

Cowboys secure crucial win

After back-to-back three-and-outs on their first two possessions, Dallas' offense found their groove and never looked back - capping four consecutive drives with touchdowns.

Prescott, who finished the regular season with a league-high 15 interceptions, kept things clean and relatively simple.

His opening TD strike owed much to tight end Dalton Schultz grabbing a high throw for a 22-yard score.

He faked a hand-off before running in the second score untouched and finished the half by finding Schultz again from 11-yards out to round off a 91-yard drive.

That opened up a 18-0 interval lead and the outcome was as safe as any game can be when Brady is in opposition after Prescott picked out Michael Gallup at the back of the end zone on the Cowboys' first possession after half-time.

Julio Jones clung on to a 30-yard zinger from Brady to get the Bucs on the board, but Prescott connected with CeeDee Lamb from 18 yards in the fourth quarter to finish with 305 yards, completing 25 of his 33 pass attempts.

Cowboys to face 49ers

Next up for Dallas will be their former foes from the 1990s, who went on a 25-point run in the second half to defeat the Seattle Seahawks earlier in Super Wild Card weekend.

The Niners are 1/2 on the Money Line for next Sunday's Divisional Round clash at Levi's Stadium.

It will be a tough test for Mike McCarthy's team as San Francisco have been building momentum since midseason, since then they have won 11 straight games to embark on the NFL's longest active victory streak.

Prescott will go up against arguably the best defense in the NFL and the Niners' offense is stacked with star names like Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel while getting incredibly consistent play rookie sensation Brock Purdy at QB.

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The Cowboys, who are 10/11 to cover a +4.0 point Spread, are 11-1 against the spread in their last 12 games though.

And they will be out to avenge their home playoff defeat in last year's playoffs when San Francisco marched into AT&T Stadium and pulled off the 23-17 upset.

Brady's last game in Tampa

The question of what next for the NFL's greatest-ever quarterback came into sharp focus after the Bucs' defeat, which was the 48th playoff game of Brady's illustrious career - more than 23 of the NFL's 32 franchises have had in their entire history.

His contract with the Buccaneers is up and, after the stories that swirled following his retirement announcement and subsequent reversal last spring, not many are willing to bet on him staying in Tampa.

He agreed a 10-year deal worth $375million to become Fox Sports' lead NFL analyst whenever he calls time on his career for good, but the competitive juices still seem to be flowing in his ice-cool veins.

A handful of teams are interested in signing him in free agency with the Miami Dolphins, long-time suitors whose owner was fined $1.5million for 'impermissible contact' with Brady between 2019 and 2021, among the frontrunners for his signature.

The Las Vegas Raiders, currently coached by Brady's former offensive coordinator in New England, are on the lookout for a new franchise QB after giving up on Derek Carr while Patriots owner Robert Kraft, whose wedding he attended in October, could well seek a rerun of the glory years under Bill Belichick.

Bowles' seat is getting hotter

Todd Bowles experienced his first-ever playoff game as a head coach on Monday and it did not go well for him or his Buccaneers team.

The word from Tampa beforehand was that the ex-New York Jets head coach was on fairly safe ground, despite his first year after succeeding Super Bowl winner Bruce Arians being full of ups and downs.

Team owners the Glazer family had never previously canned a coach after one year and the Bucs did somehow manage to win their division.

Another factor that may buy him more time is that Bowles has yet to hire his own assistants.

But he and his staff got out-thought by the Cowboys coaches in front of a national audience on Monday night and patience may be wearing thin in the corridors of power at Raymond James Stadium.

Bucs at the back of quarterback queue

Tampa could dip their toes in the murky trade waters for a new franchise quarterback or try to land a second-tier starter in free agency.

Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold and Jimmy Garoppolo all seem more likely than not to be moving, but there is a potentially rich seam of future NFL stars to be tapped in the draft.

However, by the time they pick at No.19 in the first round, Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud or Will Levis are likely to be long gone.

There could still be some interesting prospects, such as Georgia's title-winning QB Stetson Bennett, available lower down but with potentially less upside in the long term.

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