NFL 2023: Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers thrashed by Dallas Cowboys, career over, retirement

When Tom Brady retired last March after 40 days in what was clearly not a happy retirement, he boldly cited the reason for his return as “work in progress.”

On Monday evening, GOAT looked finished.

As it has never been profitable to bet against the likes of Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan, the same goes for Brady, who has spent more than two decades defying the odds since the Patriots took him in the sixth round of the draft 23 years ago. .

But the 45-year-old quarterback looked his age in an ugly 31-14 loss to the Cowboys in the NFC wildcard at Raymond James Stadium.

The win sends the Cowboys 13-5 into the divisional round game Sunday at the 49ers.

The loss ends the season for the 8-10 Buccaneers, and begins off-season speculation about Brady’s future as a free agent and can either stay in Tampa for a fourth season or play for another team. Raiders or Dolphins?) or retire again – this time, perhaps for good.

When asked by The Post after the game what his process would be as he contemplates whether he wants to retire or continue playing, Brady said, “I’m going to go home and get a good night’s sleep…as well as I can tonight.”

Asked if he had a schedule, he said, “Really, it’s going to be one day at a time.”

The truth about the Monday night performance was sobering. No moment in the game better portrayed Brady as a player ready for retirement than the Buccaneers’ second goal from the Dallas 5-yard line in the second game of the second quarter.

When Brady reversed in the pocket with two Cowboys pushing him down the middle, he faked it and then sent an absolute canard to no one in particular to the back of the end zone.

Cowboy safety Jaron Kears, a casual tourist of sorts, received a rare gift from Brady, hitting a pass to complete a 14-game 70-yard drive with 14:51 left in the first half, with Dallas leading just 6 times. -0.

After the game, Kirs cradled the ball like a newborn and triumphantly ran off the field.

Brady said after the game that he was trying to kick the ball out of the end zone.

“I tried to throw it away and obviously didn’t get enough,” Brady said. “It definitely didn’t help our cause.”

How rare was Brady’s gaffe, a mistake usually reserved for nervous rookie quarterbacks playing happily in their first NFL game?

It was his first red zone turnover since 2019, when he was still with the Patriots. Brady made 410 passes, made 86 TD passes and has since rushed for seven more.

One could argue that this was the worst pass of Brady’s brilliant career.

In the inning, Brady was a paltry 11-of-23 for 96 yards and that ungodly INT in the end zone with a 41.2 rating. He finished 35 of 66 for 351 yards with two TDs and one INT.

Brady’s colleague Duck Prescott, who came into the game maligned for winning only one playoff game in four attempts and leading the NFL on INT, hit 15 of 20 for 189 yards with two passing TDs and one rushing TD and a 137 rating. 3 in half. . He finished 25 of 33 for 305 yards with four TDs, no INT, and a 143.3 rating.

Entering the game, Tom Brady holds nearly every significant postseason quarterback record—35 playoff wins, most games played (47), most Super Bowl titles (seven), most passing yards (13,049), and most touchdown passes (86). look like the same Tom Brady playing on Monday night.

That dude wearing number no. 12 white jersey and pewter helmet looked like an impostor.

Now the pirates and all the other participants are waiting for his decision on what to do next.

“Yeah, interesting,” said Tampa Bay tight end Cameron Braith. “I know Tom and he wouldn’t want to go out like that. But we’ll see.”

Bright caught an 8-yard TD pass to make it 31-14 with 2:04 left, and just in case it was Brady’s last TD pass, he said he kept the ball.

Bucks center Ryan Jensen, who returned from a Monday night knee injury in August and was one of the first teammates Brady called when he retired, said he’s not going to dwell on what Brady’s decision will be.

“Thinking about it and being afraid of it won’t change whether he comes back here or not,” Jensen said.

“The last two months, I realized that my place is still on the field, not in the stands,” said Brady, without retiring. “That time will come, but not now.”

After what the world witnessed on Monday night – and with a $375 million 10-year deal to make TV for FOX Sports as soon as he retires – the time for Brady might be now.

Because the GOAT that night, in the most important game of the season for his team, was the goat.

This story first appeared in New York Post and has been reprinted with permission.

Originally published as Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers lose to Dallas Cowboys