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A brief look at Vikings/Cowboys history

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Let’s take a look back before Sunday’s game

Minnesota Vikings v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

It’s a little later than I might like, but we’re finally getting an opportunity to take a look back at the history between the Minnesota Vikings and their opponent this week, the Dallas Cowboys. These teams have a pretty rich history against one another, but we’re not going to get to all of it as we just focus on regular season history in these posts. (If these two teams should meet in the playoffs, then we’ll do a post on the playoff history between them.)

Much like their opponent last week, a win against the Cowboys this week would even the Vikings’ all-time record against the Cowboys, which would be nice to see. Let’s take a look back at the regular season history between these two franchises.

As always, the numbers from this post are brought to you by the good folks from Pro Football Reference.

Total regular season games between the Vikings and the Cowboys: 23

All-time record: Cowboys, 12-11

Total Vikings points scored, head-to-head: 549 (23.9 points/game)

Total Cowboys points scored, head-to-head: 532 (23.1 points/game)

Longest Vikings winning streak vs Cowboys: 4 games (26 November 1998 - 12 September 2004)

Longest Cowboys winning streak vs Vikings: 4 games (24 September 1961 - 20 October 1968, first four games of series)

Most recent Vikings road win in series: 23 November 2000 (Final score 27-15)

Most recent Cowboys home win in series: 3 November 2013 (Final score 27-23)

Biggest Vikings road win in series: 40 points, 13 November 1988 (Final score 43-3)

Biggest Cowboys home win in series: 14 points, 24 September 1961 (Final score 21-7)

Current streak: Cowboys, 2 wins

Once again, the Vikings are playing an opponent that they haven’t beaten on the road in a very long time. In this case, it’s been nearly two decades since the Vikings won in Dallas, as we have to go all the way back to Thanksgiving Day of 2000 for that momentous occasion. The Vikings actually trailed this one midway through the second quarter, but took a 10-6 lead into the locker room at halftime thanks to a 15-yard touchdown run by Robert Smith. The second half was the Randy Moss show, as he hauled in two touchdown passes to put the game out of reach for the Vikings. Dallas got a late touchdown, but it wasn’t enough to stop a 27-15 Vikings win.

The last time the Vikings made the trip to Dallas was back in 2013, and the Vikings had the same lead at halftime, going into the locker room at 10-6. A pair of third quarter touchdowns put the Cowboys back in the lead, but Minnesota got a touchdown pass from Christian Ponder to Kyle Rudolph and a touchdown run from Adrian Peterson to take a 23-20 lead with five minutes remaining in the game. It wasn’t enough, however, as Tony Romo found Dwayne Harris from seven yards out for the deciding touchdown, as Minnesota fell 27-23.

The most recent meeting between these two teams happened at U.S. Bank Stadium in 2016, featuring the debut of the “Color Rush” concept for both the Vikings and the Cowboys. It was a 7-6 ball game after three quarters of play, and Kai Forbath connected on his third field goal of the night to give the Vikings a 9-7 lead early in the fourth quarter. Then, following a fumble on a punt return by Adam Thielen, Dak Prescott found Dez Bryant to give the Cowboys the lead back, and Dan Bailey added a field goal to make it 17-9 with a little over four minutes remaining. Sam Bradford managed to get the Vikings down the field, and found Jerick McKinnon for a 3-yard touchdown with less than 30 seconds remaining to make it 17-15. After a penalty on the two-point conversion attempt, Bradford’s pass fell incomplete, and that 17-15 score was how things ended.

The Vikings failed in their last attempt to even their all-time record against an opponent. Here’s hoping that they can actually accomplish the feat on Sunday Night Football tomorrow.