FRISCO, Texas – Every little bit helps, right?
It's a miniscule detail in a game that's full of high profile storylines, but it's worth a reminder that Thursday's season opener will serve as the NFL's first regular season game since changing its long-standing number rule.
Starting this season, the league has allowed for much more lax rules about which numbers can be worn by which players. Notably to the purpose of this story, the rule allows defensive backs and linebackers to wear any number between 1-59.
If you'll recall, Tom Brady had a problem with this when the rule was announced. The legendary quarterback took to social media back in April to make his displeasure known, stating "Good luck trying to block the right people now! Going to make for a lot of bad football."
It's obviously a stretch to think the rule change will bother Brady too much. After all, he has been in the league for 21 years, has been named to 14 Pro Bowls, won three NFL MVPs and of course has appeared in 10 Super Bowls, winning seven of them.
But there's no denying this Dallas defense is going to look quite different on Thursday night. Among the Cowboys defenders expected to play a major role against Tampa Bay, five of them will be taking advantage of the rule change:
- Micah Parsons - 11
- Damontae Kazee - 18
- Donovan Wilson - 6
- Trevon Diggs - 7
- Jaylon Smith - 9
Obviously, this is all fairly tongue-in-cheek. There will be way bigger factors determining how well the Dallas defense fares against Brady. But again, every little bit helps.