NFL Schedule Release: League Announces Matchup To Kick Off 2021 Season

By Jason Hall

May 12, 2021

Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL Kickoff Game at Raymond James Stadium to open the 2021 season.

The NFL announced its decision to feature the matchup in its Kickoff Game scheduled for Thursday, September 9, 2021, hours ahead of the full release of the 2021 season schedules for all 32 NFL teams on Wednesday (May 12) night at 8:00 p.m. EDT.

Fittingly, the season will begin at the same location the last ended, as the Bucs became the first team in NFL history to win a Super Bowl in their home stadium earlier this year.

The matchup is also expected to include the long-awaited return of Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who signed a six-year, $240 million contract this past offseason, despite experiencing a compound right ankle fracture and dislocation during his fifth game of the 2020 season.

Brady finished Super Bowl LV with 201 yards and three touchdowns on 21 of 29 passing, winning a record fifth Super Bowl MVP Award, which surpassed his own previous record set in Super Bowl LI (2017.)

The victory was Brady's first as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after joining the franchise in March following 20 seasons with the New England Patriots.

Brady now owns a 7-3 record all-time in the NFL's biggest game and surpassed his own previous record for most Super Bowl wins by a quarterback (6) set in February 2019. The 43-year-old also broke his own record as the oldest quarterback to both start and win a Super Bowl also set in 2019.

Photo: Getty Images

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