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Early Look: Vikings vs. Cowboys

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — The Vikings lost a 16-13 heartbreaker Thursday in Detroit as the Lions kicked a game-winning field as time expired.

Minnesota is now 6-5, and the Lions moved into first place in the NFC North at 7-4.

The Vikings will have a week between games as they get ready to play host to the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday Night Football.

The Cowboys, who earned a 31-26 win over Washington on Thanksgiving Day, have the NFL's best record at 10-1. Dallas lost its first game of the season — by one point — but has reeled off 10 straight wins.

Here's an early look at Thursday's game:

Passing: Vikings quarterback Kyle Rudolph completed 31 of 37 passes for an 83.8 completion percentage, his highest total of the year. He threw for 224 yards with no touchdowns and an interception.

Bradford has completed 248 of 348 passes this season for a career-high completion percentage of 71.6. That is also the best completion percentage in the NFL this season. He has thrown for 2,415 yards with 12 touchdowns and three interceptions.

Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott has started every game this season and been vital in helping Dallas win 10 of its first 11 games. Prescott completed 17 of 24 passes for 195 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions on Thursday.

Prescott has completed 231 of 340 passes (67.9 percent) for 2,835 yards with 18 touchdowns and two interceptions this season. Prescott was a fourth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft out of Mississippi State.

Rushing: The Vikings ran for 82 yards against the Lions, their third-highest total of the season. Minnesota had 16 attempts and averaged 5.1 yards per carry.

Jerick McKinnon had nine carries for 34 yards while Nick Easton had five carries for 27 yards and a score. Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson added 22 yards on a double reverse.

McKinnon leads the Vikings with 106 carries for 316 yards and a touchdown. Asiata has 90 attempts for 287 yards and a team-high five rushing touchdowns.

The Cowboys also have a standout rookie at running back, as Ezekiel Elliott had 20 carries for 97 yards and two touchdowns Thursday against Washington. Prescott added 39 yards and a score on the ground. 

Elliott leads the NFL with 243 attempts and 1,199 rushing yards this season. His 11 rushing touchdowns rank second in the league.

Receiving: Minnesota was without its leading wide receiver in Stefon Diggs on Thursday as a host of players stepped up in his absence.

Tight end Kyle Rudolph had a season-high nine catches for 64 yards, and Adam Thielen had a career-high eight catches for 53 yards.  McKinnon added 45 yards through the air, including a 41-yard reception that set up a Vikings field goal.

Diggs leads Minnesota in catches (67) and yards (747) and has two touchdowns. Rudolph has 48 catches for 468 yards with five touchdowns. Thielen has 45 receptions for 571 yards and three scores. 

Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant had five catches for 72 yards, and Cole Beasley had five grabs for 56 yards. Terrance Williams had a 10-yard touchdown reception.

Beasley leads Dallas with 58 catches for 647 yards and five touchdowns. Tight end Jason Witten has 55 receptions for 553 yards and two touchdowns. Bryant has 33 catches for 550 yards and five scores.

Defense: The Vikings allowed 308 yards and 16 points to the Lions. Linebacker Anthony Barr had a sack, and safety Andrew Sendejo and defensive end Danielle Hunter split a sack.

Minnesota ranks second in the NFL in points allowed per game (17.5) and is third in yards allowed per game (307 yards). The Vikings are second in the NFL with a plus-12 turnover ratio.

Hunter leads Minnesota with 7.5 sacks, and cornerback Xavier Rhodes has a team-high four picks.

The Cowboys allowed 505 total yards in a win over Washington. Dallas did not record a sack or intercept a pass.

Dallas ranks 22nd in yards allowed per game at 362.2 and is 10th at 19.4 points allowed per game. The Cowboys have a turnover ratio of plus-3.

Safety Barry Church has a team-high two interceptions for Dallas, and defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford leads the team with 3.5 sacks.

Special Teams: Vikings punter Kevin McDermott continued his strong season as he averaged 48.8 yards per punt Thursday with a net average of 48.0. He had a long of 57 yards and landed three punts inside the 20-yard line.

Kicker Kai Forbath made a pair of field goals and an extra point in his second game with Minnesota. Forbath has made all three field goal tries since signing with the Vikings earlier this month.

Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey has made 20 of 22 field goals this year and is 34 of 34 on extra points. Dallas punter Chris Jones averages 46.5 yards per punt.

Patterson leads the NFL with a kickoff return average of 31.3 yards and has a return for a score. Marcus Sherels is one of two returners with a pair of punt returns for a touchdowns.

Look back at photos over the course of time featuring games between the Vikings and the Cowboys.

Over The Years

The Vikings are 14-15 all-time against the Cowboys, with seven of those matchups coming in the postseason. Minnesota has fared well against Dallas of late as it has won seven of the past nine contests.

Minnesota has won the last two playoff matchups between the two teams after the 1999 and 2009 seasons.  The teams met four times in the postseason between 1971 and 1977, including splitting a pair of NFC Championship games.

Last meeting: Cowboys 27, Vikings 23, Nov. 3, 2013, in Dallas

The Vikings suffered a tough loss as Dallas scored the game-winning touchdown with just 23 seconds left, dropping Minnesota to 1-7 on the season.

Minnesota led 10-6 at the half after a Blair Walsh field goal and a 6-yard touchdown run by Christian Ponder.

The Cowboys grabbed a 20-10 lead but the Vikings pulled within three points with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Ponder to tight end Kyle Rudolph.

Minnesota grabbed the lead with just under six minutes left. Running back Adrian Peterson scored on an 11-yard run, but the Cowboys put together a 90-yard scoring drive for a late touchdown.

Ponder threw for 236 yards with a touchdown and an interception, andPeterson ran for 140 yards on the afternoon.

A.J. Jefferson had an interception for the Vikings. Brian Robison had 2.0 sacks, and Everson Griffen had a sack of his own.

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