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Minnesota Vikings At Dallas Cowboys: Fourth Quarter Open Thread

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys got the ball first coming out of the locker room to start the second half, and made it look pretty easy against a Minnesota Vikings' defense that actually held up pretty well in the first half of play. The Cowboys moved 74 yards in six plays, concluding the drive with consecutive 26-yard passes from Tony Romo to Jason Witten, the second one going for a touchdown to give Dallas a 13-10 lead.

Things managed to get worse from there for the purple and gold. After Cordarrelle Patterson muffed the ensuing kickoff out of bounds at the 5-yard line, Christian Ponder dropped back to pass, stepped up in the pocket, and was stripped by George Selvie. The ball bounced around, and was recovered by Nick Hayden for Dallas' second touchdown in ten seconds of game time, giving them a 20-10 lead.

On the ensuing possession, the Vikings, to their credit, stormed right back. A big 27-yard completion to Greg Jennings on a third down play pushed the ball into Dallas territory, and Christian Ponder got his third touchdown pass of the season by hitting the guy that got the first two. . .tight end Kyle Rudolph. It was a nice pass to Rudolph, and he did the rest for a 31-yard pitch-and-catch between the two 2011 draftees to cut the Dallas lead back down to 20-17.

The Vikings forced another three-and-out on the next drive, and the Vikings were pinned back inside their own 20-yard line. Minnesota had to punt the ball away after a three-and-out, and the Cowboys got the ball back. It appeared that the Cowboys were putting another drive together, but a self-destruction by Dez Bryant, who was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after removing his helmet to argue an offensive pass interference call, stalled the Dallas drive. They punted back to Minnesota, and the Vikings currently have a 2nd-and-12 at their own 8-yard line as we move to the fourth quarter of play.

It's 20-17 in favor of the Cowboys with fifteen minutes of football remaining. Can the Vikings pull off an improbable upset deep in the heart of Texas? Let's find out together, shall we?