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Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings: Key information and first quarter discussion

It’s finally here!

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Alright, folks. . .we have, officially, waited all day for Sunday Night, and we’re just about ready for kickoff at U.S. Bank Stadium for Week 8 action between the Dallas Cowboys and your Minnesota Vikings. Let’s get you caught up with all of the information you need to know heading into this one.

Date and Time: Sunday, 31 October, 2021, 7:20 PM Central time

Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Television Coverage: NBC affiliates around the country, including KARE-11 in the Twin Cities

Radio Coverage: Vikings Radio Network, Sirius Channel 211, XM Channel 225, SiriusXM NFL Radio (Channel 88), SiriusXM App Channel 820

Line: Vikings -2.5, Over/Under 52

Chris’ Prediction: Vikings 27, Cowboys 24

Three Keys

1) Limit the Dallas run game - With all of the drama surrounding Dak Prescott and the Cowboys’ quarterback situation, it may be even more important to limit what the Cowboys can do on the ground. They have a very good ground game with Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard carrying the load, and if the Vikings can keep the Cowboys “behind the chains” a bit it will help them to get after either a hobbled Prescott or an inexperienced Cooper Rush.

2) Don’t be scared of Trevon Diggs - The NFL’s interception leader has made a ton of big plays this season, but he’s also given up some big ones because of his aggressiveness. I don’t know who Diggs will primarily be assigned to this evening, but the Vikings’ offense can’t limit themselves because of the Cowboys’ coverage. There will be plays there for the taking this evening and the Vikings will have to make them.

3) Win on special teams - The Vikings have had their issues on special teams over the past couple of games, whether it’s Greg Joseph missing field goals, Dede Westbrook turning every punt return into an adventure, or penalties in the return game. This team can’t have those things going forward. They need to clean up their special teams issues to enhance their chances of winning this one.

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As we always do, we will fire up a new Open Thread at the beginning of each quarter, so keep an eye out for those and keep the discussion moving along accordingly.

With that, let’s get ready for some football and hope that, by the end of the night, our bags have significantly more “treats” than “tricks” in them and we’ll all be celebrating the Vikings’ third straight victory.

SKOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL VIKINGS!!!!