The defending Super Bowl champs? Tom Brady? The return of quarterback Dak Prescott? Jerry Jones?
The NFL schedule makers were sold.
The defending champion Buccaneers will host the Dallas Cowboys in the 2021 NFL season opener, NBC announced Wednesday morning. The full slate of the league’s 17-game season is scheduled to be announced Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.
Until then, NFL fans can mark their calendars for a Sept. 9 matchup of NFC foes in Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers return their full starting cast that topped the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV. The Cowboys boast offensive firepower from Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott to a receiving stable aplomb with Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb.
The Cowboys drafted eight defenders to bolster a historically bad 2020 unit. Ex-Falcons coach Dan Quinn has been installed as defensive coordinator charged with overseeing the revamp. With Brady and Co. up first, there will be no respite to break in new scheme or players.
Are you ready for some football?
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Jori Epstein on Twitter @JoriEpstein