Dallas (6-10) at Tampa Bay (11-5), 8:20 p.m. on NBC. It’s finally here.

No more pre-season games.

No more camps.

Goodbye, two-a-days.

This time, the games are for keeps.

The Lombardi Trophy has a new address in the Sunshine State. Hope it has sunscreen and likes Orange juice.

Banners will be raised, trophies will be hoisted and then there’s the game.

The 2021 National Football League season starts in Tampa at Raymond James Stadium Thursday evening in a full house and in front of a national audience as Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski and the rest of the Buccaneers welcome Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys. For Dallas, they are the hunters, which makes Brady and Tampa Bay the hunted.

It’s the first of several Thursday night contests that will be played this season and the season opener, in which all 32 teams will be playing a 17-game schedule this year.

While the Bucs are relatively healthy, the same cannot be said for Dallas. The Cowboys will be without a significant part of their offense when they open the 2021 season Thursday night. Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy told reporters Sunday that Zack Martin, the team’s former Pro Bowl right guard has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been placed on the team’s reserve/COVID-19 list.

With Martin out, Connor McGovern is slated to fill his spot on the Cowboys’ offensive line. A fifth-round pick in the 2019 draft, McGovern made eight starts in 14 games last season while filling in for Martin, who dealt with a concussion and a calf injury during the season. The Cowboys started the day with just three guard on their roster. The other guard, Matt Farniok, is a 2021 seventh-round pick who has never appeared in a regular season game.

Dallas leads the series 13-4, have outscored Tampa Bay 327-248 and have won the last two meetings, which took place in the Lone Star State (Dallas’ last win in the series came in 2018 by a final of 27-20 at AT&T Stadium). Tampa Bay’s last win over Dallas? 2015 in the Sunshine State by a final of 16-10. Vegas likes Tampa Bay as a 7 1/2-point favorite with a 52 over/under. Both numbers make a lot of sense. Tampa Bay’s trying to stay on top, while Dallas is trying to get back to the top. The Bucs take the opener but expect Dallas to make this one closer than the 7 1/2.

Broadcast Information: 8:20 p.m. Eastern on NBC: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (field reporter); NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One: Kevin Harlan, Kurt Warner; SIRIUS: 81 (Dallas), 211 (Tampa Bay); XM: 226 (Dallas), 225 (Tampa Bay); SXM App: 808 (Dallas), 829 (Tampa Bay)

Referee: Shawn Hochuli

Injury Report

Dallas – Dallas reported no injuries

Tampa Bay
OUT: S Jordan Whitehead (Hamstring)

Weather: Partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of an isolated thunderstorm and 77.

Broadcast information, officials and injury report courtesy the National Football League, odds courtesy Don Best, weather information courtesy The Weather Channel.