Cowboys vs Vikings: Gut projection
Projection: Dallas Cowboys 27, Minnesota Vikings 23
One on hand for the Cowboys, the Vikings are just the 23rd-ranked rushing offense in the NFL. On the other, the Cowboys’ run defense is struggling and Dalvin Cook isn’t the talent you want to face when trying to correct things.
They will have their hands full as the Packers put out another blueprint on how to run against Dan Quinn’s defense. But, first and foremost, the Cowboys must not allow Justin Jefferson to have a monster game against them and singlehandedly win it for the Vikings.
Where the Cowboys do gain an advantage over the Vikings is defense. Minnesota is allowing the third-most passing yards per game, 263 yards per game, which will be a welcome sight for CeeDee Lamb who exploded last week and will look to continue staying hot.
The Vikings’ run defense is slightly better but just the 16th-best team in the league and allowing 118 yards on the ground per game. Dallas is churning out 135 rushing yards per game this season, and 166 rushing yards per game over the last three games.
The deciding matchup of the teams could be the Cowboys’ pass defense going up against the Vikings’ pass offense. This is strength on strength and something has to give. The Cowboys allow only 181.7 passing yards per game, fourth in the league, while the Vikings throw for 248.8 passing yards per game, seventh in the league.
Both of these teams are too good and too talented to let this thing get away from them. The Cowboys’ offense still scored 28 points in their loss last week and have plenty of firepower to hang with the Vikings. What decides this one is the turnover battle — which offense hangs onto the ball better and plays mistake-free football will loom large.
Trevon Diggs has been silent, in a good way as he isn’t being thrown at, but will see opportunities this week. He only stays quiet for so long and his silence ends on Sunday as he gets an interception at a key juncture of this matchup. America’s Team does enough to steal a win on the road against a contender and reassert themselves as contenders.