News | Minnesota Vikings – vikings.com

Opposing Viewpoint: Cowboys Writer Answers 5 Questions About Dallas

The Vikings are looking to start another win streak.

Minnesota is 6-3 following Sunday’s loss in Kansas City, as the Vikings four-game win streak came to a halt.

The Vikings now get a chance to make a statement in the NFC with a win against Dallas on Sunday Night Football.

The Cowboys sit at 5-3 and lead the NFC East. Dallas started 3-0, lost three straight and has now won back-to-back games. Kickoff is at 7:20 p.m. (CT) from AT&T Stadium.

And while there has been plenty of coverage on the Purple this week, Vikings.com chatted with Cowboys reporter David Helman of DallasCowboys.com for a glance at what the other side is thinking before Sunday’s contest.

Here is the Week 10 edition of Opposing Viewpoint:

We’ll start on defense, where both units appear to be evenly ranked. The Vikings rank fourth with 17.6 points allowed per game, while the Cowboys are fifth (17.8). Dallas is sixth in yards allowed per game (318.1), while Minnesota is seventh at 320.9. Do you think this one could be a low-scoring affair with the talent for both teams on that side of the ball?

DH: It’s funny, because I absolutely think these teams have the defensive talent for a low-scoring slugfest. And yet, these two offenses are some of the best in the league. With the exception of the Vikings game against the Bears and the Cowboys game against the Saints, not many teams have succeeded in holding them below 20 points. As talented as these defenses are, I’ll be surprised if we don’t see some touchdowns in this game.

Vikings defenders routinely talk about stopping the run as the first priority for their game plan. That won’t be an easy task against Ezekiel Elliott. For those who don’t see him on a weekly basis, what makes him such an effective runner?

DH: To put it simply, Zeke is a tank. He’s not going to hit a ton of home run balls, but he’s going to steadily churn out yardage on every down — and he’s going to punish the defense while he does it. It’s very rare to see him stopped for less than 2-3 yards, and he pretty much always fights forward. His physicality wears on opponents, and by the fourth quarter those 3-4 yard runs are often turning into 8-12 yard runs. Factor in his impeccable vision for gaps and cutback lanes, and it makes him a tough guy to deal with.

View practice images from Nov. 7 as the Vikings prepare for the Cowboys at TCO Performance Center.

Dallas also has quite the quarterback in Dak Prescott, as he has made plenty of elite plays all season. Where has he shown the most growth this season for the Cowboys?

DH: I would say the biggest difference for Dak this season has been his efficiency. He’s throwing downfield more than ever before, and the important thing is that those chances are paying off. He’s fifth in the league in passing yards per game, and he currently trails only Pat Mahomes in net yards per attempt, with a healthy average of 8.13. The success of the run game has helped with that, as Dak is getting a lot of his biggest throws off play action. That’s what I’d watch out for if I were the Vikings. Plenty of the Cowboys’ opponents have been burned by focusing too much on the run game.

The Cowboys currently lead the NFC East at 5-3, while the Vikings are in second place in the NFC North at 6-3. With both teams currently in a playoff spot — and with the stretch run coming up — does this game feel like one that is extra important since it’s between conference foes and could be a potential playoff preview?

DH: The Cowboys are in a weird spot, because they currently lead their division — but it feels like they have no margin for error. That’s probably because they’ve already dropped two games to NFC contenders in Green Bay and New Orleans, not to mention an embarrassing loss to the New York Jets. So yes, this game is important because you need to stack wins if you’re going to make the playoffs. But if I’m being honest, it already feels like the Cowboys will need to win the NFC East if they’re going to make the postseason. The Wild Card field simply looks too deep.

And finally, pick a Vikings player on each side of the ball are you most looking forward to watching Sunday night in prime time.

DH: This is where I admit my homerism for my alma mater, LSU. I’ve been a big fan of Danielle Hunter for a long time, so I’m really excited to watch him do his thing. To make it even better, he’ll be going against another LSU guy in La’el Collins — who has been playing like the best right tackle in football this season. That should be an incredibly fun matchup.

Over on offense, I’m intrigued to see Kirk Cousins again. He played some great games against Dallas during his time in Washington, including Thanksgiving 2016, when he bombed away for 449 yards and three touchdowns at AT&T Stadium. All of that said, he’s just 1-6 against the Cowboys in his career. I know he’s been on a tear the last month, so I want to see if he can keep it going against a team he has struggled to beat.

Advertising