- Anthony Tornatore
Vikings Look for Fourth Straight Win as They Host Cowboys
The Minnesota Vikings are on a roll as we head into the final few months of the season. They've won their last three games, all against division opponents, and have gained a lot of ground in the NFC North, and in the NFC Conference to try and get one of the last remaining playoffs spots. The consistent play of Kirk Cousins and the dominance shown by Dalvin Cook have really made the Vikings a playoff contender as they head in to their Week 11 showdown against America's team, the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys, before the injury to Dak Prescott that sidelined him for the rest of the 2020-2021 season, were one of the best offensive teams in all of football. They led, and still do lead the league with 309 passing yards per game and is third overall in total offense, with 419 yards per game. The only problem for them, was that they weren't, and still aren't, able to win games. Obviously with Dak Prescott out you'd expect the offense to underperform, but the issues this year for the Cowboys have solely been on the defensive side of the ball. They've given up the second most rushing yards per game in the NFL (157) and have given up the most points per game (32.2) as well.
With the way the Cowboys run defense has been operating, this could easily be a game where you see Kirk Cousins throw the ball less than 15 times and see Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison have a combined 40 touches. The Vikings, which strong suit is their running game, will look to pound the rock as much as they can against an abysmal defense.
Dallas will have something to look forward to this week, and that's the return of veteran backup quarterback Andy Dalton, who has had a rough few week. Not only did he suffer his first ever concussion three weeks, but was later hit with a COVID-19 diagnosis's that sidelined him for another week. Backing up for him will be journeyman Garrett Gilbert, who performed extremely decent for a team he had just signed with. The Cowboys went on to be defeated 24-19 by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
For the Vikings, who have been hit extremely hard with injuries this season, will continue to try and get back to full strength as the playoff push starts to begin. Irv Smith Jr and Cameron Dantzler, who were both limited in practice this week, did participant and are now questionable to play. CJ Ham could see himself take the field as well if he can produce a negative COVID-19 test before Sunday. If Smith does suit up, the Vikings running game will be even stronger behind the six-foot, two-inch, 242-pound tight end out of Alabama.
The Cowboys have only ruled out center Tyler Biadasz, who will be sidelined with a hamstring injury. Zack Martin, Andy Dalton, Ezekiel Elliot and Joe Thomas were all full participants on Friday, but were not deemed active yet. Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence is also questionable as he is dealing with an illness. He did not practice on Friday.
The last time these two teams met was last November, and featured a Vikings win over the Cowboys, 28-24. Dalvin Cook would go on to score one touchdown on the ground, but Kyle Rudolph was the difference maker, catching two touchdown passes from Kirk Cousins. This will be the 32nd time these two teams have met, with the Cowboys leading the series 16-15. However, the Vikings have outscored the Cowboys 712-679.
The game is scheduled for a 3:25 pm CST/4:25 pm EST kickoff with the game being televised nationally on FOX. Kenny Albert and Jonathan Vilma will be on the call. For radio, Paul Allen and Pete Bercich will be providing the sights and sounds on KFAN 100.3-FM/KTLK 1130-AM in Minneapolis / St. Paul.