Cowboys vs. Vikings Week 8: History, player to watch, gut prediction
By Riley Donald
Dallas Cowboys vs Minnesota Vikings “Under the Radar” Players
Dallas Cowboys: Amari Cooper, WR
Minnesota Vikings: Tyler Conklin, TE and KJ Osborn, WR
I don’t know why, but Amari Cooper seems to always go a little less talked about than other weapons on the Cowboys’ offense and other receivers in the league. It could be his calm, workman-like demeanor, his consistency, or other things.
But all he has done is put up 373 yards and four touchdowns so far this year. Cooper is on pace for yet another 1,000-yard season even though this one seems to not be discussed. That’s why I like Cooper this week. And in a big way.
Last game we saw CeeDee Lamb step up hugely. The running backs have been creasing defenses and we’ve even seen the tight ends get into the act. Just maybe Kellen Moore lulled everyone to sleep and we see Cooper get his turn being the key in the game plan. I like a vintage Amari Cooper performance Sunday night.
The Vikings placed cornerback Patrick Peterson on the IR and will be giving his reps to Cameron Dantzler. I think we see Cooper get mismatches in the play-action game and one-on-one shots against a defender he should overwhelm.
I like him on a long catch and run touchdown in the first half to open some scoring up and pour in about six or seven more catches. Give me a stat line of eight catches, 134 yards, one touchdown for Cooper in a primetime performance reminding everyone just how firmly cemented he is in the conversation of top-10 wide receivers in the NFL.
Similar to the Cowboys, the Vikings have a trio of weapons on offense between wide receivers Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, and running back Dalvin Cook. That leaves tight end Tyler Conklin and third receiver K.J. Osborn on the second line to attack a defense with.
The Cowboys have given up 30 receptions for 364 yards and four touchdowns to tight ends so far this season. With the secondary playing well, the Vikings could look to use play-action crossing patterns with Conklin and Hamler to open things up behind the linebackers.
Hamler and Conklin have reeled in over 28% of the Vikings’ receptions and 31% of the teams’ receiving yards. These two are consistent players the Cousins goes to when his primary weapons are taken away. The Cowboys need to stop Jefferson, Thielen, and Cook and force these secondary weapons to try and win the game.