The Dallas Cowboys narrowly escaped the road game against the Minnesota Vikings last night with the victory. They were able to improve their win streak to 11 straight games and fortunately still sit atop of the NFC East division.
A loss against Minnesota would have possibly created a first-place showdown against the New York Giants if they manage to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Fortunately, that's not how the game played out.
In all honesty, this was by far the Dallas Cowboys worse performance of the 2016 season. It was hard to watch them continually do their best to beat themselves and give Minnesota the opportunity to win the game.
I'll give credit where credit is due. The Minnesota Vikings played an outstanding defensive game, but fortunately the Cowboys were able to do just enough to come away with the W.
Having said all that, here is this week's edition of The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly for the Dallas Cowboys against the Minnesota Vikings. I hope you enjoy.
Each week it has been relatively easy to find the good in every game for the Dallas Cowboys, but that wasn't the case for Thursday night's matchup against the Minnesota Vikings.
I had to think long and hard about what I wanted to put in this category before ultimately deciding on the play that changed the game, Kyle Wilber's fumble recovery.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen had a pretty good outing against the Cowboys defense catching seven passes for 86 yards, but it was his fumble on a punt return that changed the course of the entire game.
On the play, Thielen fielded the punt cleanly, but while running to his left was stripped of the ball by Kyle Wilber, who recovered the fumble setting the Dallas Cowboys offense up in the red zone.
I don't know if the Dallas Cowboys would've been able to come away with the victory if not for Kyle Wilber's fumble recovery. He should receive the game ball for the play he was able to make. It likely changed the outcome of the game.
It would be too easy to say that the entire game for the Dallas Cowboys was pretty bad. So, I thought I would go with the answer that was just slightly a little less obvious, all of the penalties and turnovers the Cowboys had.
The Dallas Cowboys may have won this game, but they did just about everything in their power to let the Minnesota Vikings escape with a victory.
Just about every time the offense had a positive play there would be a penalty flag lying on the field to not only negate the play, but back the offense up into a longer down and distance.
It happened on the defensive side of the ball as well. You may have forgotten, but it was an untimely penalty that negated an Anthony Hitchens interception.
All of the penalties were bad, but maybe not as bad as turning the ball over and giving the Vikings offense extra chances to put points on the board.
The Dallas Cowboys have been really good about protecting the ball so for this season, but for some reason failed to do so last night against the Minnesota Vikings. This can't continue to happen if they want to be a serious playoff contender.
This possibly could be a weekly addition to the ugly category, but the pass rush for the Dallas Cowboys is without a doubt the weak link of the defense.
I was really hoping that the pass rush for the Cowboys would be able to put pressure on Sam Bradford the majority of the game due to the Vikings patchwork offensive line, but I guess that was just wishful thinking.
This was a game that I thought the Cowboys could get to the QB and build some confidence in their pass rush. But, whether it was because Bradford was getting rid the ball quickly or some other reason, they failed to find any kind of consistency.
The lack of consistent pass rush really hurts the entire defense. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli really just likes to rush his four down lineman and put pressure on the opposing QB that way. He doesn't like to blitz much because that takes an extra defender, creating a hole in the defense somewhere else.
I don't know what Marinelli can do at this point of the season, but this is definitely an area that needs to be improved upon if they want to continue to be successful.
What is your good, bad, and ugly for the Cowboys against Minnesota?
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