By Zach Walker
Minnesota Vikings vs Dallas Cowboys
Sunday – November 10 – 7:20 p.m.
AT&T Stadium – Arlington, TX
Records Before the Game
Minnesota Vikings (6-3, 2-3 Away)
Dallas Cowboys (5-3, 3-1 Home)
Let’s start with a short recap of last Monday night. F*** that team. All that after the whistle BS they were gloating then getting the Cowboys to fall into, on one hand, there’s a nice job done. On the other hand, it made that strip-six one-part necessary and one-part Christmas morning. Different wrapper on what looks to be the same ol’ problem for New York, no one outside your locker room believes in that Lloyd Christmas stand-in, or his ability to throw them out of tough situations. For as good as he looked in Tampa, the Bucs LOST that game.
On to Sunday night. In rolls a better team. They’ve got pieces in place to make teams pick their own poison. Either sell out to contain Dalvin Cook, or sit back and try and stifle the duo of Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. The Vikings don’t have a presentation problem, they’ve got the talent. They’ve got a substance problem. Their offensive line, for as much as the Vikings have invested in it, it still isn’t what could be considered a strength, it’s NOTHING like years previous, but it’s going to need time to bloom.
Then there’s that other thing… I like Kirk Cousins. I thought he was the best offensive draft pick that Washington had made in forever (maybe credit Alfred Morris). However, he has an issue. He can play with the lights on, and he doesn’t defeat teams with winning records. The Cowboys currently have a winning record, and this game is on Sunday night (why) so the history, as thrown by Cousins, says that he doesn’t have what it takes to actually win this game. There’s a lot that goes into a win, but he sure does take a lot of heat and L’s in his pursuit.
The Minnesota defense is good, and they’re coached well too! I have a TON of respect for Mike Zimmer, cut his teeth coordinating in this for a long time, before getting his head coaching opportunity in Minnesota. He’s a true throwback, defense and a run game with some passes peppered in. The Cowboys will be dodging the big bullets of having to keep Linval Joseph off of Dak Prescott and Zeke and needing to account for Adam Thielen when on defense. There is still Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen, two of the baddest bookends in the league. Numbers mean nothing when the amount of effort is needed to keep these guys out of your backfield, but if you like the numbers, Hunter is good for a sack a game, and Griffen has 16 quarterback hits to go with 5.5 sacks. That’s no joke.
The Cowboys need to WORK the inexperienced offensive line of the Vikings and force Kirk Cousins into making bad decisions or just eating the ball. The Cowboys defensive front added some immediate heat in the form of kicker-pads wearing Michael Bennett with instant impact, they could stand to keep that going. The Cowboys need to worry about the Vikings’ secondary, because they’re nothing to overlook, and with Amari Cooper still remaining hampered, it’ll take some effort to make the Vikings work.
Dallas – 28
Minnesota – 23