Dallas edges Minnesota for 11th straight win

Cowboys WR Dez Bryant stepped up when needed en route to going 11-1 on the season. Photo Courtesy: Darryl Briggs
Cowboys WR Dez Bryant stepped up when needed en route to going 11-1 on the season.
Photo Courtesy: Darryl Briggs
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By Alex Al-Kazzaz

The Dallas Cowboys are 11-1 after escaping Minneapolis with a hard-fought victory against the Vikings. This is the first eleven-game winning streak in team history. They’re 6-0 on the road.

Let’s take a look at their performance
Offense: Dak Prescott completed 12 of 18 of his passes for a season and career-low of 139 yards. He tossed one touchdown pass and rushed six times for 37 yards. Dez Bryant caught four passes for 84 yards and one touchdown. Bryant is now tied with Michael Irvin for most touchdowns scored in franchise history. Cole Beasley only had two catches for 23 yards. Jason Witten did not have a catch, so his legendary streak of 130 consecutive games with a catch is snapped. Ezekiel Elliot had 20 carries for 86 yards, being held to less than 90 yards since Week 2. The offense was limited to season-lows in total yards, first downs, third down conversions, and points scored. A total of 264 yards of total offense. Offense committed two turnovers and several penalties that nullified big plays. Offense gets a C for their performance.

Defense: Surrendered 318 yards of total offense. Minnesota came into this game as the league’s worst in total offense, yet the Cowboys defense still struggled at times and they once again failed to force turnover. They did make some good stops, and they rejected Minnesota’s two-point conversion attempt that could have tied the game with less than a minute remaining. Defense only allowed Minnesota to go 1-for-3 in the redzone, so that’s a positive. But this whole thing with not being able to force a turnover needs to end. Turnover percentage needs to rise.

The Cowboys actually did force a turnover in this game, but it was on special teams. Kyle Wilbur forced and recovered a game-changing fumble on a Minnesota punt return. Dallas came into this game as the only team in NFL history to win four straight games without forcing a single turnover.

Dallas can clinch a playoff berth by Sunday should the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lose or tie and if the Washington Redskins lose. Next week Dallas travels to New Jersey to take on the New York Giants. New York plays Pittsburgh this Sunday, so a New York loss would help, too.