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Newman Aims to Make 201st Game His 2nd Against Cowboys

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. –Terence Newman doesn't play football like a 38-year-old.

Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said you'd never know that Newman is the second-oldest active player in the league if you simply watched him play a game.

"I'd give him at least 25, 26 [years old]," Munnerlyn said. "T-New, he still can run."

If you ask Newman's teammates, it's actually his intelligence that gives him away.

"He's a very smart football player. By being so smart, though, I know he's kind of old," quipped Munnerlyn. "He's just seen a lot of football."

To be exact, Newman has seen 200 games since being drafted by the Cowboys in 2003, starting 131 of 133 games played for Dallas.

Newman spent the first nine seasons of his 14 in the pros with the Cowboys. On Thursday Night Football, he will face Dallas for only the second time since leaving the Lone Star State. He last played against the Cowboys on Dec. 9, 2012, as a member of the Bengals.

The veteran cornerback has been widely respected since entering the league. Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, whom Newman faced on Nov. 20, called Newman a "consummate professional."

"You don't play in the National Football League at such a high level for 14 years without being not only a great athlete but just a real student," Fitzgerald said. "He understands what the defense is – he understands what the weaknesses are, what the strengths are. He understands leverage; he does a great job of understanding route combinations, reading splits.

"He's a really crafty guy," Fitzgerald continued. "I played him a couple years ago when he was in Cincinnati still, and he got a pick on us. He just understands concepts very, very well, and you have to make sure that you're very careful around him with the football."

Newman totaled 542 tackles (505 solo) during his time in Dallas. In addition, he racked up 32 interceptions (three returned for touchdowns), 122 passes defended and seven forced fumbles.

A handful of Newman's former teammates remain on the Cowboys roster, including wide receiver Dez Bryant – who overlapped with Newman in 2010 and 2011 – and tight end Jason Witten, whom Dallas drafted in the same class as Newman.

Munnerlyn is hoping to see Newman back on the field against his former team after he missed the Thanksgiving Day game with a neck injury. Newman, who is included on this week's injury report, was a full participant in Tuesday and Wednesday's practices. He is listed as "questionable" for tomorrow's matchup.

"Being drafted by their organization, being in their locker room with those guys, knowing how the guys are, he's definitely going to have a big game," Munnerlyn said. "I'm expecting big things from him."

The younger cornerback also wouldn't mind receiving some inside information.

"I'm definitely going to be, 'Hey T-New, what do you see right here?' I'm definitely going to be asking him questions and things like that," Munnerlyn said.

Vikings Defensive Coordinator George Edwards also said Tuesday that Newman has played an integral role in Minnesota's defense since joining the purple and gold in 2015.

In 26 regular-season games with the Vikings, Newman has recorded 107 tackles (83 solo), four interceptions and 20 passes defended. He has made a number of significant plays throughout games this season.

"I think Terence has been very good for us all year. His attention to detail and what he's been able to do as long as he's been doing it is unparalleled," Edwards said. "We're glad we've got him.

"He brings a lot to the table for us, whether it's in the meeting room or whether it's on the field, and he's been consistent every week," Edwards added. "I think that shows throughout his play throughout the course of the season."

According to Munnerlyn, being without Newman last week was the equivalent of losing both a coach and a player.

"[We missed] an extra coach on the field, I guess you could say," Munnerlyn said. "So to have him back on the field with us would definitely be a plus."

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