Cowboys/Vikings: Research is Easy and Fun

As part of the media's continuing quest to convince the entire world that the Minnesota Vikings shouldn't even bother showing up this Sunday afternoon, Calvin Watkins from ESPNDallas.com attempts to build the case that the Beloved Purple are exactly the same football team as the team that the Cowboys just spent the past two weeks beating up on, the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Vikings boast two speed receivers, Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice, who combined for 16 touchdowns in the regular season. There's also tight end Visanthe Shiancoe and his 11 touchdowns. How could one forget running back Adrian Peterson, who is considered one of the best in the game at his position?

Then there's Brett Favre, a future Hall of Famer, who says he loves playing against the Cowboys.

You could substitute some of the Vikings' names with Eagles players. Move Harvin out and put in DeSean Jackson. Replace Rice with Jeremy Maclin. Shiancoe for Brent Celek. Peterson for Brian Westbrook.

Favre for Donovan McNabb.

Holy crap, really?  Are you serious with this garbage?

For starters, the insinuation that Sidney Rice. . .who stands 6'4", weighs 205 pounds, and is hardly the definition of a "speed receiver". . .and Jeremy Maclin (6', 195) are interchangeable is a complete joke.  They're not even remotely close to the same type of player.  Rice has outstanding hands, amazing leaping ability, and great body control, and Maclin. . .well. . .does not.  (Certainly not in comparison to Rice, in any case.)

Second of all, on what planet is 2009 Brian Westbrook on anywhere near the same level as Adrian Peterson?  Westbrook missed half of his team's games this season, and barely had more yards rushing and receiving combined (455) than Peterson had in receptions alone (436).  Not to mention 16 fewer touchdowns.

And Favre and McNabb being interchangeable?  Well, I'll just let the numbers here speak for themselves.


Passing Rushing Sacks
G Rating Comp Att Pct Yds Y/G Y/A TD INT Rush Yds Y/G Avg TD Sack YdsL
2009 - Donovan McNabb 14 92.9 267 443 60.3 3553 253.8 8 22 10 37 140 10 3.8 2 35 264



Passing Rushing Sacks
G Rating Comp Att Pct Yds Y/G Y/A TD INT Rush Yds Y/G Avg TD Sack YdsL
2009 - Brett Favre 16 107.2 363 531 68.4 4202 262.6 7.9 33 7 9 7 0.4 0.8 0 34 247

Ummmmmmm, yeah.  McNabb didn't play any sort of football on anything even close to the level that Favre played it this season.  Favre had a higher QB rating, more completions, more attempts, more yards, more yards/game, more touchdowns, fewer interceptions. . .

But other than that, they're basically the same player, I suppose.  I mean, when you put it that way and everything.

Seriously, Mr. Watkins, it's all well and good to have confidence in your team and everything.  Heck, if I were you, I'd be confident in the Cowboys' chances on Sunday, too.  But it truly wouldn't kill you to spend ten. . .maybe even fifteen seconds of your life doing some actual research on the team Dallas will be facing this weekend.

The Cowboys aren't playing the Eagles this weekend.  They're playing a team that's better.

The Cowboys aren't playing in the comfort of the JerryDome this weekend.  They'll be playing in an environment that isn't exactly Dallas-friendly.

The Cowboys aren't going to be seeing a rushing offense led by a rookie.  They'll be seeing the best 1-2 running back combination outside of Charlotte, NC.

The Cowboys aren't going to be victimizing Donovan McNabb and his happy feet.  They'll be getting a guy that might be having the best season of his career. . .which is amazing, seeing that he was pretty good before this year, too.

The Cowboys won't be seeing an offense with limited weaponry.  They'll be taking on the second offense in NFL history to have six different players catch 40 passes or more in a season.  (Oh, and did I mention the running game is pretty good, too?)

Hey, if the Cowboys show up in Minneapolis as overconfident as their media seems to be and assume that they can win on Sunday simply by showing up and tossing their helmets out on the field, that's perfectly fine by me.  I'd like to see that, actually.

But, I've said it before and I'll say it again. . .the Minnesota Vikings didn't go 12-4 (and 8-0 at home) in 2009 by accident.  They did it because they're a pretty damn good football team.  And anyone that's expecting the Dallas Cowboys to just roll through Minneapolis without a hitch is, more than likely, going to be in for a rude awakening.

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