It will be strength vs. strength when the Vikings first team defensive line meets the Cowboys first team offensive line on Saturday night in Dallas. This big-time battle in the trenches is the subject of this week's Ticketmaster Hot Matchup.
This matchup has a little bit of everything. There are established veterans on each side, with the Vikings leaning on DT Linval Joseph and DE Brian Robison, and the Cowboys counting on LT Tyron Smith and RT Doug Free. There are young stars on the rise, such as DE Everson Griffen and DT Sharrif Floyd on the Vikings side and C Travis Frederick and RT Zach Martin on Dallas' side.
Here's a closer look at each group…
Vikings Defensive Line-- The four starters combined for 24.0 sacks in 2014.
-- The defensive line as a whole accounted for 31.5 of team's 41 sacks.
-- Two members of the Vikings defensive line had career highs in sacks, with Griffen collecting 12.0 and DT Tom Johnson tallying 6.5.
-- All 4 starters and 2 key reserve DTs (Johnson, Shamar Stephen) return in 2015.
Cowboys Offensive Line
-- They blocked for the NFL's leading rusher in 2014 - DeMarco Murray with 1,845 yards.
-- The Dallas OL paved the way for the team to rank #2 in rushing yards per game (147.1) and #3 in yards per rush (4.6).
-- There are 3 1st-round picks on the Dallas OL – LT Tyron Smith (No. 9 in 2011), C Travis Frederick (No. 31 in 2013) and RG Zach Martin (No. 16 in 2014).
-- LT Tyron Smith is a 2-time Pro Bowler and 1-time 1st-Team All-Pro, C Travis Frederick is a 1-time Pro Bowler and 1st-Team All-Pro, and RG Zach Martin earned a trip to the Pro Bowl in his rookie season last year.
-- All 5 starters return in 2015 and the Cowboys added great depth with the signing of La'el Collins as an undrafted free agent
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