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Vikings open as slight underdogs against Cowboys

But that could quickly change

Minnesota Vikings v Carolina Panthers Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images

Coming out of their bye week, the Minnesota Vikings are facing a brutal gauntlet of a schedule over their next five games. That will start on Halloween night at U.S. Bank Stadium when the purple play host to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football on NBC.

According to DraftKings, the Vikings are currently sitting as a 2.5-point underdog to the Cowboys, who are also on their bye this week. However, with both of these teams taking the week off to get healthy, it sounds like the Vikings might catch a pretty significant break.

Cowboys star quarterback Dak Prescott reportedly suffered a calf injury on the play where he threw a game-winning touchdown pass against the New England Patriots on Sunday afternoon, and according to Dan Graziano of ESPN, Prescott’s status is a little hazy as things stand right now.

“Optimistic” was the word coming out of the Dallas Cowboys’ camp Monday regarding quarterback Dak Prescott, who suffered a calf injury on the final play of Sunday’s game. But the Cowboys — who are on bye this week — aren’t 100% certain they’ll have their starting QB for their Week 8 game against the Vikings.

On the one hand, Prescott has been incredible this season for Dallas, as he’s fifth in the NFL in passing yardage after six weeks and has thrown 16 touchdown passes to four interceptions in leading the Cowboys to a 5-1 start. If the Cowboys were forced to go without him on Halloween night, that would greatly increase the Vikings’ chances of success.

On the other hand, that didn’t matter a whole lot last season, as the Cowboys came to U.S. Bank Stadium sans Prescott and defeated the Vikings by a final score of 31-28 behind Andy Dalton. Dalton has moved on to Chicago, and while I’m not terribly optimistic that Cooper Rush (the Cowboys’ current backup) could do the same, I wouldn’t completely rule it out, either.

In any event, Prescott’s status is definitely going to be something to monitor over the course of the next week and a half leading up to the Vikings’ first primetime contest of the year. If it doesn’t look like he’s going to play, it could lead to a dramatic shift in who comes into this game as the favorite.