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Vikings Guard Ezra Cleveland to Miss Week 11 Game vs Cowboys

The will be without starting Ezra Cleveland in their Week 11 matchup with the . And after releasing previous starter Pat Elfein at the start of the week, this leaves Minnesota in a tough spot against a well-rested Cowboys team.

Cleveland was the Vikings' 2nd-round pick last April coming out of Boise State, making him one of the few Boise alumni to ever not play for the Cowboys (I kid, I kid). He's been starting at guard since Week 6 due to and appeared to have earned the job permanently.

Unfortunately, an ankle from last week's game against the Bears has lingered through the week. Ezra gutted it out on but has now been officially ruled out of this Sunday's game with Dallas.

Coincidentally, Minnesota released fourth-year veteran Pat Elfein last weekend after deciding to keep Cleveland as the starter. They are likely regretting that move now as they're forced to turn to a player to play guard this week.

Brett Jones, a 29-year-old journeyman who's bounced on and off the Vikings' practice squad all season, will be the starting right guard against the Cowboys.

While Pat Elfein had his flaws, mainly in pass protection, he's been a full-time starter for the Vikings since entering the NFL in 2017. Whether at or guard he's helped Minnesota make the twice during the last three seasons.

Now Jones, an undrafted player in 2013 with only 17 starts in his career, will have to step up and taken on , , and other Cowboys defenders coming off their . It will be Brett's first start of 2020.

This presents Dallas with a significant opportunity in a game they'd love to win. After losses last week by Philadelphia and Washington, the Cowboys find themselves just a couple games back in the East and with plenty of season left to go.

If Dallas can repeat some of the good things we saw in the close loss to the Steelers then who knows where this game and this season could still lead? The Vikings will still be a tough opponent at home but this development with Ezra Cleveland's absence will help make the Cowboys job easier.

Jess Haynie
Jess Haynie
Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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