The Dallas Cowboys gave up a halftime lead but didn’t give up the game. They executed on a late scoring drive and didn’t give up 1st-down on Minnesota’s last two possessions to secure the 31-28 victory over the Vikings.
The win moves the Cowboys to 3-7 on the year and is their first road victory of 2020. And while just three wins after Week 11 is usually meaningless, the NFC East this year makes this a big win!
Down 28-24 with 4:00 left on the clock, Dallas took an 11-play drive to the Vikings’ 2-yard line. Andy Dalton found Dalton Schultz in the endzone to put the Cowboys up by three with 1:37 left to play.
Minnesota got the ball with one timeout and enough time to get to Dan Bailey’s field goal range but the Cowboys forced a failed conversion on 4th-down to end the game.
Dalton was strong overall with three touchdowns and 203 yards on 69% passing. He did throw one interception and had a couple of close calls, but it was a good game overall given he’s been out since Week 7.
Ezekiel Elliott had 103 rushing yards and Tony Pollard added a 42-yard touchdown run to help stabilize the offense. This was Zeke’s first 100-yard game of the season and he also found the endzone on a reception for Dallas’ first score.
Donovan Wilson was the star of the defense with two forced fumbles. One of them came late in the second half to deny the Vikings a late scoring opportunity and help set up the Cowboys for a field goal before the break.
The Vikings still did plenty of damage with their own offense. Kirk Cousins was nearly perfect today with 314 passing yards and three touchdowns but just didn’t complete plays late to finish the job. Dalvin Cook had 115 yards on the ground and another 45 receiving.
Adam Thielen was nearly unstoppable for the Cowboys secondary; eight catches for 123 yards and two scores on the day. Even getting Chidobe Awuzie back didn’t seem to make much different for the Cowboys’ pass defense woes, but thankfully it didn’t cost them the game.
- CeeDee Lamb’s 47th catch of the season gave him the most receptions by a rookie WR in Cowboys history. “Bullet” Bob Hayes was the recordholder with 46 catches; a surprisingly low number given the legacy of receivers in Dallas.
- Zack Martin started and played the entire game at right tackle for the first time in his career. Connor McGovern got the start at guard and the results were evident; just one sack on Andy Dalton and perhaps the best rushing performance by the offense all year. Expect this lineup to carry into next week.
- Leighton Vander Esch led the defense with 12 tackles and had some big run stops in key moments Jaylon Smith had a sack today while DeMarcus Lawrence and Donovan Wilson split another.
- You’ll be hearing about CeeDee Lamb’s touchdown catch for a while. If you didn’t get to watch the game, stop reading this and go find it.
- The Eagles lost to the Cleveland Browns today to move to 3-6-1 on the year. With wins by Dallas and Washington and the Giants on their bye week, the rest of the NFC East is all 3-7 going into Week 12.
- The Cowboys will host the Football Team this Thursday for the traditional Thanksgiving Day matchup. A victory would give Dallas temporary control of the division and an Eagles’ loss to Seattle on Monday Night Football would make it official.