Cowboys at Vikings rating, takeaways: Dallas swallows Kirk Cousins, Tony Pollard explodes in blowout win

The Vikings entered Week 11 with an opportunity to unseat the Eagles as the present No. 1 seed in the NFC. Instead, they have been totally battered by Philadelphia’s NFC East rival. Hosting the Cowboys as house underdogs, Minnesota proved incapable of even making Sunday’s showdown a contest — a lot in order that CBS booted them in trade for one more broadcast with a complete quarter to play. Kirk Cousins ​​was uncomfortable from begin to end as Micah Parsons headlined a ferocious Dallas go rush, and Tony Pollard exploded because the Cowboys’ lead ball-carrier, serving to “America’s Team” to a 40-3 blowout in Minneapolis.

The Vikings’ dismantling comes only a week after Kevin O’Connell’s squad upset the explosive Bills on the highway, and per week after the Cowboys fell to the slumping Packers by blowing an enormous lead. Now, Dallas is perhaps probably the most formidable foe in the convention, with each aspect of the ball displaying as much as stun Minnesota’s house crowd.

Here are some further takeaways from Sunday’s Cowboys blowout:

Why the Cowboys received

They did all the pieces proper. Seriously. Let’s begin on offense: Mike McCarthy and Kellen Moore properly leaned extra on the speedy Tony Pollard than Ezekiel Elliott, even with the latter again from a knee damage, and it paid off, with Pollard breaking off early first-down runs and all however burying Minnesota together with his 68-yard catch-and-sprint landing previous Jordan Hicks in the third. Dak Prescott was uber-efficient after an unusually erratic day in opposition to Green Bay in Week 10, hitting every of his high three wideouts — CeeDee Lamb, Michael Gallup, Noah Brown — for clutch chain-movers.

Special groups bought an MVP outing from Brett Maher, who hit all 4 area purpose makes an attempt, together with a 60-yarder he was required as well twice due to an official assessment. And the protection? Oh boy did it come alive after getting gassed the week prior. Micah Parsons returned to terrorizing kind with two sacks and 5 QB hits, Dorance Armstrong was simply as dominant, and the whole entrance had its method in opposition to a battered Vikings entrance, handing Cousins ​​extra stress than he is ever confronted in his NFL profession. Trevon Diggs feasted on the front-seven dominance, simply rendering Justin Jefferson a near-nonfactor downfield.

Why the Vikings misplaced

They couldn’t shield Kirk Cousins. Left sort out Christian Darrisaw was victimized early, nevertheless it was his departure with a concussion that actually ruined the trenches, leaving backup Blake Brandel to battle in opposition to Parsons and a persistent Dallas entrance. Cousins ​​merely had no time to both learn the sphere, let playmakers like Jefferson emerge deep, or set up a rhythm past a play or two. TJ Hockenson was a gradual security valve, however his distinguished function emphasised how a lot Cousins ​​was compelled to dink and dunk, provided that he hardly ever had a clear pocket to attach together with his outdoors targets. Dalvin Cook was explosive with the ball in his palms as common, however he too was a complete ghost in the passing recreation.

Defensively, Minnesota additionally had main points. A scarcity of linebacker velocity doomed them making an attempt to include Pollard out of the backfield, and cornerback Patrick Peterson, who’s made latest headlines for a turnover-happy resurgence, routinely fell behind his males downfield. The go rush, in the meantime, did not present up at all, even with Za’Darius Smith energetic reverse Danielle Hunter; their entrance managed only a single QB hit on Prescott.

Turning level

If it wasn’t Dak’s last-minute dart to Lamb close to the top of the second quarter, which confirmed Dallas was doing no matter it needed in opposition to Minnesota’s secondary, it was Maher’s succession of 60-yard area objectives — the primary reversed by a delayed official assessment, and the second proper down the pipe to offer the Cowboys a 20-point lead going into halftime. At that time, all of the momentum rested in Dallas’ palms, and the Vikings had but to point out any sustained offensive life.

Play of the sport

Tony Pollard’s large performs have been actually highlights, as was Brett Maher’s 60-yard kick, however Dak’s well timed bullet to CeeDee Lamb at the top of the primary half was the most effective snap in phrases of each aesthetics and significance. Prescott could not have put the ball in a greater place whereas airing it out on the transfer, and Lamb laid out at simply the proper time to make the sideline seize.

What’s subsequent

The Cowboys (7-3) shall be again in motion on Thanksgiving, after they’ll host the rival Giants (7-3), who bought routed by the Lions at house on Sunday. The Vikings (8-2), in the meantime, may also return to prime time for the vacations, internet hosting the Patriots (6-4) on Thursday evening after New England edged the Jets in Week 11.

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