The Minnesota Vikings had their opportunities to extend their winning streak to four games and get their record back to .500 after a 1-5 start. However, they failed to get the job done when it mattered most.
Andy Dalton’s third touchdown pass of the day, a two-yarder to tight end Dalton Schultz, was enough to give the Cowboys their third win of the season at U.S. Bank Stadium, as they defeated the Vikings by a final score of 31-28.
The Cowboys got on the board first in this one, following a sack of Kirk Cousins that saw him stripped by safety Donovan Wilson in Minnesota territory. The Cowboys took just three plays to cash in, as Andy Dalton connected with Ezekiel Elliott for a 6-yard touchdown. Greg Zuerlein had his extra point blocked by Eric Wilson, but Dallas still had a 6-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
The Vikings answered that touchdown with one of their own, as Dalvin Cook went into the end zone on 3rd-and-goal from the 1. It was his fourteenth touchdown of the season, and with the extra point from Dan Bailey, the Vikings took a lead by a score of 7-6 with a little more than two minutes left in the first quarter.
The Cowboys then committed a turnover of their own early in the second quarter, as Dalton was picked off by a diving Eric Kendricks in Minnesota territory.
The Cowboys took the lead back late in the second quarter, as Dalton connected on his second touchdown pass of the game, this one a 4-yarder to rookie CeeDee Lamb. With the extra point, the Cowboys went back up 13-7 with just under five minutes to go before halftime.
Following a Dalvin Cook fumble, the Cowboys added to the lead just before halftime with a 19-yard field goal by Zuerlein, making it 16-7 as the teams went into the locker room.
The Vikings took the ball to start the second half and marched into the end zone, ending the drive with a gorgeous 2-yard catch by Adam Thielen. Thielen had a 51-yard catch to get the Vikings into the red zone on the drive, and then capped it off with this.
Dan Bailey’s extra point made the score 16-14 with just under ten minutes left in the quarter.
The Vikings started the fourth quarter by taking the lead back. With first-and-goal from the 3, Cousins faked a handoff to Dalvin Cook, rolled out, and hit Thielen for his second score of the afternoon. Dan Bailey connected on the extra point, and the Vikings were back ahead by a count of 21-16.
Dallas took the lead right back on their next possession, as they got into the end zone on a 42-yard run by backup running back Tony Pollard on which he was basically untouched. The Cowboys went for two and were successful, putting them back ahead 24-21 with twelve minutes left in the contest.
But, on the next drive, Minnesota went back out in front again on Kirk Cousins’ third touchdown pass of the afternoon, this one a 39-yard rainbow to Justin Jefferson. Dan Bailey got the extra point, and the Vikings were back out in front 28-24 with just over nine minutes remaining.
After the teams exchanged punts, Dallas took the lead back after the two-minute warning courtesy of a 2-yard pass from Andy Dalton to tight end Dalton Schultz. That gave the Cowboys a lead of 31-28 with 1:37 left and the Vikings with one timeout remaining.
But, it was not to be for the Vikings, as a fourth-down pass attempt towards Adam Thielen fell incomplete and the Vikings saw their winning streak end at three.
Cousins actually played very well in this game for the most part. He completed 22-of-30 passes for 314 yards and three touchdowns on the afternoon, but three of those incompletions came on the game’s final three plays. His top target on the day was Adam Thielen, who hauled in eight catches for 123 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the afternoon. Justin Jefferson also had 86 yards and a touchdown on three receptions.
Dalvin Cook had another solid game, rushing for 115 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries.
The loss drops the Vikings’ record to 4-6 on the season and they’ll host the Carolina Panthers next week at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Cowboys move their record to 3-7 and they’ll host the Washington Football Team next week.
A tough one for the Vikings on Sunday afternoon, as they fall to the Dallas Cowboys by a final score of 31-28 at U.S. Bank Stadium. Thank you to everyone that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!