Slow start, battle back, fall short.
This is the story of the 2019 Dallas Cowboys against quality opponents, and it was once again the story tonight.
The Dallas Cowboys fell to 5-4 with a gut-wrenching 28-24 home loss to the Minnesota Vikings, taking the game out of Dak Prescott’s hands with back to back runs on their final real drive of the night.
Despite having next to no success on the ground, Dallas insisted on pounding the ball on early downs and forcing their offense into disadvantageous situations. Elliott went for just 47 yards on 20 carries, and was targeted on the Cowboys’ incomplete fourth down try as well.
Where the Cowboys were awful in the run game Sunday night, Dak Prescott was nearly perfect through the air. A Hail Mary interception aside, Prescott went 28/46 for 397 yards and 3 touchdowns. His play was the main reason this team even had a chance in the fourth quarter, as the defense struggled to slow down Dalvin Cook all game long. Cook rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown, and added 86 yards on 7 catches in the passing game as well.
DeMarcus Lawrence was incredible – both in production and hustle – but even he was not enough to make up for some of the poor play from the Dallas front seven tonight.
Maybe the most head-scratching moment of the entire game came in the middle of the fourth quarter. On third and seven with over 8 minutes remaining in the game, Maliek Collins jumped offsides, gifting the Vikings a third and short and an eventual first down. Dallas’ offense wouldn’t see the ball for another four minutes, and were backed up inside their own ten when they did get it back.
Minnesota jumped up on the Cowboys 14-0 quickly, and despite taking the lead briefly at 21-20, it felt like the Cowboys were playing catch-up the entire night. It feels like we repeat ourselves week in and week out when it comes to the Cowboys slow starts, but at this point it doesn’t appear that anything will change.
Dallas now sits tied for first place with the 5-4 Philadelphia Eagles, and will face the Detroit Lions next Sunday afternoon.