The Dallas Cowboys will try stay hot in the cold north of Minnesota against the Vikings in a primetime showdown Thursday night.
Both teams had tight games on Thanksgiving that went down to the wire.
Minnesota lost a heartbreaker in Detroit 16-13, as a late Sam Bradford interception led to a Lions field goal as time expired. The Vikings have dropped five of their last six contests after starting the season 5-0 and becoming an early-season favorite in the NFC.
Dallas survived a frantic fourth quarter in beating the Washington Redskins 31-26 in their annual Thanksgiving game. The last stanza was a slugfest between Dallas’ Dak Prescott and the Redskins’ Kirk Cousins, featuring 34 points total between the two teams.
The new Cowboys quarterback has provided steady leadership as rookie, no matter what the NFL has thrown at him.
“He’s a pro, he smiles in the face of adversity,” said fellow Dallas rookie Ezekiel Elliott. “No matter what’s going on he’s going to keep on playing like it’s a regular down.”
“I think it’s more about preparation, I don’t put too much into what the moment means,” said Prescott on Monday. “I just lock into one play, there’s a lot that goes into each and every play.”
The Vikings defense has led the charge this year for Mike Zimmer’s team after early-season injuries to Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson. The unit is only allowing 307 yards per contest, and has created interceptions and fumbles all season.
“They’re a disciplined defense,” Dallas coach Jason Garrett told the media Monday. “And they do a lot of things to help them win. They take the ball away and play real physical.”
Prescott thinks this Minnesota defense is one of the best they will see all season.
“They do a good job of being active, they’re all over the field. They have great players, and when you have great players you can keep the scheme simple and do a great job.”
Minnesota veteran linebacker Chad Greenway says the Cowboys are going to make things very hard on an opportunistic defense that has already forced 20 turnovers.
“They’re very talented,” Greenway said. “Their run game starts them off and they’re very physical up front. All the things people are saying about them appear to be true on tape. It’s going to be our hardest challenge all year.”
Prediction Time: The Cowboys offensive line dictates the pace to an overwhelmed Vikings defensive front. The Prescott and Elliott show roll into Minnesota, and put a serious dent in the Vikings playoff hopes as they cruise to a 31-17 victory.