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Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys

Peterson

The Minnesota Vikings have won the last five meetings against Dallas and will be looking to make that six this week. While the Dallas Cowboys are coming off of their first loss of the season against the New England Patriots, the Minnesota Vikings are coming off a big win with the Bears. What each of these teams do this week when they face each other will play a huge part in defining who these teams really are.

 

One of the biggest questions this week is whether or not the Dallas Cowboys are the best team in the NFC. They struggled against the lowly Bills team in week 5, narrowly escaping with the victory, and lost by 20 plus points to the New England Patriots in week 6. But, as the players will quickly point out they are still 5 and 1. Many contend, however, that a Super Bowl caliber team wouldn’t struggle with a Bills team that hasn’t accomplished much so far offensively, and that a Super Bowl caliber team shouldn’t give up so many points to the New England Patriots, despite the number of weapons New England has or the fact that Dallas is missing a couple of key players on defense.

 

The problems the Cowboys have struggled with so far this season seems to be mostly penalties, though you could contend that slow starts and defensive coverage has been a problem as well. The Cowboys have been stout against the run, not allowing a single team reach the century mark once in their first six games, however, both the New York Giants and New England Patriots have been more than capable of tearing to shreds the Dallas Cowboys secondary-primarily the safeties. On the offensive side of the ball Tony Romo is second only to Tom Brady in touchdown passes thrown, and under Tom Brady and Brett Favre in passing yards this season. The Cowboys have been excellent for the most part in the second half of games but seem to stagger coming out of the gates with just three points this season in the first quarter, and averaging only 10 points in the first half of games. Penalties is probably the biggest problem for both offense and defense on the Dallas Cowboys. While there has been a good share of questionable calls this season, there have also been a very good share of dead on accurate calls. The Cowboys will be looking at shoring up these problems, and hope to start seeing the fruits of their labors show up against the Minnesota Vikings prior to heading into their bye week.

 

The Minnesota Vikings have several big questions coming into this week, but perhaps their biggest question and concern will be their pass defense. The Vikings pass defense ranks dead last in the NFL, and facing off against a team so strong in the pass, as Dallas is, could prove detrimental to their ability to get the win this weekend. While the Cowboys are looking to prove the last two weeks was a fluke, the Vikings will be trying to prove that their win against the Bears was no fluke.

 

The Minnesota Vikings have a few problems of their own. They have been very good in stopping the run and on offense they rank number one in the NFL running the ball. That might be their only bragging rights. They are last in the league on pass defense giving up an average of 288 yards per game and rank 28th in the league in passing offense. Tarvaris Jackson has only thrown two touchdown passes this season and has thrown 5 interceptions so far this season. Tarvaris Jackson also sustained a groin injury in week 2 and didn’t play again until last week against the Bears. Runningback Adrian Peterson has been the offensive work horse he has 607 yards and 4 TDs this season on the ground, and 224 of those yards came against the Chicago Bears last week. The Minnesota Vikings will hope to improve their passing game both on offense and defense this week, while hoping Adrian Peterson will continue rolling this week at Texas Stadium.

 

For the Cowboys to win this week, their focus will undoubtedly be on stopping the run and forcing Tarvaris Jackson into passing situations on defense, while establishing the run and continuing their dominance in the passing game. Mistake free football would be a plus this week. Minimizing turnovers and penalties should only help the Cowboys maintain good field position through out the game. If the Cowboys, however, continue to struggle with penalties in this game the Cowboys could still be able to come out with a win, capitalizing on Minnesota’s week pass defense.

 

Defensively the Minnesota Vikings will want to continue stopping the run this week. This feat may actually be harder to do now than it has in the past because of the Cowboys featuring a two back system. They’ll need to shore up their problems on pass defense otherwise the Cowboys can run away with the game fairly quickly. Offensively they’ll want to utilize Adrian Peterson as much as possible, without many other weapons on offense the running game will be essential for them to be able to pull off a win. The coaches may not be trusting the wide receivers or Tarvaris Jackson much this week, but if they want to win the game they will at some point have to get a passing game started.

 

My Take: I am sticking with the homer pick again this week, but not just because I am a homer. I think the Cowboys have the better team, and the pass defense for the Vikings will give the Cowboys just too many opportunities in this game. I look for Adrian Peterson to be the first back to get past the 100 yard mark against the Cowboys but the Vikings will eventually forfeit the run and move to the pass. The Cowboys win this one early 37-10 in a real blowout performance.


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3 Responses to “Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys”

  1. Mark Emsley says:

    I love Tony Romo. Yes Dallas is basically the better team…..but… the Vikes could become the better team… Minn recievers need to catch the ball… and TJack needs to put the ball in the zone…. D could have a problem…. a couple of passing TD’s for Minn…. could make the run impossible to stop for Dallas…. on defense… Minn needs to take away the ball in the red zone… give Dallas the field between the 20’s and the field goals….deny them the end zone. AP will get at least 120 yards rushing…. Taylor may wind up with a good day also. The Vikes will play Fat Pat more to stop the run and Leber more to hawk the ball away from Dallas. Minnesota 24 Dallas 23

  2. Nate Acreman says:

    You are putting a lot of stock in a running game that’s going up against the best run defense they have played so far. You are also taking away from the fact the Cowboys have loads of weapons in the Passing game going against the worst pass defense in the league. The Vikings have already forced themselves into a one dimensional team, and it could very well be the worst dimension to have going against the Cowboys. If this were a passing team I would believe they’d score a lot more.

  3. Rubin Rogers says:

    50/50 matchup.

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