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Vikings @ Cowboys, Open Thread

Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys
Texas Stadium
Irving, Texas

  1st 2nd 3rd 4th+OT F
Vikings 7 7 0 0 14
Cowboys 7 0 14 3 24


Minnesota Stat Dallas
170.2 ypg (1st) Rush Offense 130.8 ypg (11th)
169.2 ypg (28th) Pass Offense 274.7 ypg (3rd)
339.4 ypg (12th) Total Offense 405.5 ypg (2nd)
20.2 ppg (16th) Scoring Offense 33.8 ppg (2nd)
66.2 ypg (2nd) Rush Defense 79.7 ypg (6th)
288.4 ypg (32nd) Pass Defense 232.8 ypg (24th)
354.6 ypg (25th) Total Defense 312.5 ypg (11th)
18.0 ppg (13th) Scoring Defense 24.0 ppg (22nd)

The Minnesota Vikings have a long and spirited history with the Dallas Cowboys.  Minnesota's all-time record against Dallas stands at 10 wins and 9 losses in their 19 lifetime regular-season meetings.  But, as was pointed out in a diary at Blogging the Boys the other day, Texas Stadium has been unusually good to the Minnesota Vikings.  How so?  Here are the results for the Vikings/Cowboys games in Dallas since the Cowboys moved from the Cotton Bowl to their current home.

1974 - Minnesota 23, Dallas 21
1978 - Minnesota 21, Dallas 10
1987 - Minnesota 44, Dallas 38
1988 - Minnesota 43, Dallas 3
1998 - Minnesota 46, Dallas 36
2000 - Minnesota 27, Dallas 15

Yes, folks, the Dallas Cowboys have never beaten the Minnesota Vikings at Texas Stadium (in the regular season. . .they have playoff victories over the Vikings at Texas Stadium in 1977 and 1996).  Considering the current state of both teams and the fact that the Cowboys have a new stadium coming in the next couple of seasons, there's a very good chance that this might be the last time these two teams play a regular-season game at this venue.

Sadly, I think this is where that streak ends for Dallas.  Last weekend, we managed to make the Chicago Bears' offense look almost NFL-caliber.  This week we get up close and personal with what is easily the best offense in the NFC, and one of the top 3-4 offenses in the NFL.  They managed to put up 27 points last week against a New England defense that, prior to that, hadn't allowed a team to break 20.  Terrell Owens, Jason Witten, Julius Jones, Marion Barber III (one of my favorite non-Viking players), Patrick Crayton, and Tony Romo pulling the trigger on the whole operation.  The Vikings are definitely going to have their hands full with the Dallas offense today.

Now, I don't think we're necessarily going to get run off the field or anything.  After all, this is the National Football League, and we all know that on any given Sunday, strange things can happen.  But as I said in my interview with Blogging the Boys the other day, the beloved Purple has to pretty much play the perfect game this week to be able to pull off the upset.  We can't have turnovers, we need to shorten the game with the running attack, get after Tony Romo, and get off the field on third down.  Dallas' secondary can be exploited, as you can see from where their pass defense ranks.  Can we exploit it enough to let Peterson and Taylor have the kind of days we need them to have?  That's going to be the key this afternoon, folks.

At the risk of sounding like a negative Nancy for two weeks in a row, I've looked at this one from all sorts of different angles, and I really don't see how the heck we come out on top in this one.  Like last week's game, I'll be ecstatic if we win, but I won't be shocked by a loss.

Gonzo's Final Score Prediction:  Cowboys 27, Vikings 17

I hate the fact that this game has been moved from noon to 3:15.  It just means we have to wait THAT much longer.