Dallas Cowboys: 3 keys to beating the Minnesota Vikings on Halloween

Dallas Cowboys (Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys (Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) /
2 of 3
Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys (Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports) /

Dallas Cowboys: 2. Pressure Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins might be regarded as one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the league especially this season. He has thrown for 1,769 yards, 13 touchdowns, two interceptions with a quarterback rating of 105.4. A solid season so far for the former Michigan State alum.

He has put the team on his back this season with running back Dalvin Cook missing some time with an ankle injury. Nevertheless, with Cook back, all of Dallas’ attention could be on the 26-year-old star, who is one of the games’ best. It might even be shocking to some that the Dallas Cowboys have to worry about Cousins, who has only made two Pro Bowls in his career.

However, the 6-foot-3 quarterback has been quite successful against Dallas in recent years. Over his career including with Washington, Cousins has played nine games against the Cowboys throwing for 2,453 yards, 17 touchdowns, five interceptions with a passer rating of 103.1. On average, he throws for 273 yards, 1.9 touchdowns, and 0.6 interceptions per game against America’s Team.

But, it’s his recent stats against Dallas with this Minnesota team that gives them some trouble. Over the last two seasons, Cousins has combined for 534 yards, five touchdowns, and zero interceptions against the Cowboys. In 2019, the 31-year-old quarterback threw for 220 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-24 victory. Then, last season, Cousins threw for 314 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-28 loss.

Although Cousins has had success in his career under pressure including in 2019 when he was ranked the fifth-best quarterback under pressure with a 91.5 passer rating, the Cowboys can’t give him a clean pocket to throw.

This season, the two-time Pro Bowler is the highest graded quarterback (94.6) with a clean pocket, according to PFF. The Cowboys can’t let Cousins beat them through the air with a clean pocket. They have to get to him, make this game uncomfortable as possible for him, and force him to make bad throws.