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Intriguing Game- Week Ten

Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys

Vikings: They had a nice winning streak going. Five games in a row. Their last loss took place in week three against the Chicago Bears. In their last home game against the Washington Redskins, Kirk Cousins was close to perfect when facing his former team. In their last game against a Mahomes-less Chiefs team, Kirk did his part which is good to see considering he’s developed that reputation of struggling against the upper echelon of teams in the NFL. He had a solid game for them through the air throwing for 220 yards along with three touchdown passes. What hurt the Vikings in this game was their defense. They gave up big play after big play down the field which hurt them play in and play out. As a defensive player, you should know to keep your eyes on Tyreek Hill when you play the Chiefs! Don’t let him sneak behind you! The one thing that people don’t realize is the Vikings are one of the better offensive teams in the NFL that’s been anchored by Dalvin Cook. I’m so happy that he’s healthy because he’s struggled to remain on the field. When he’s healthy, he’s one of the best all-around running backs. Dalvin is the leading rusher in the league now with 894 yards on the ground. He also impacts the game with his hands in the receiving aspect. He’s been that safety valve for Cousins. To get back on the winning side of things, they’ll travel to Arlington for a big showdown with the leaders of the NFC East.

Cowboys: They were one of the hottest teams in the NFL at one point earlier in the year. Winning their first three games in a row had them the talk of the league and Dak Prescott was making a believer of the ones who doubted him. Then came the losing streak. They lost a close one in New Orleans to the Saints; Aaron Rodgers continued his dominance over the team then they were shocked by the New York Jets. Things have gone back to the good side as they’ve won their last two games over divisional opponents. They sit at 5-3 in first in the NFC East. The Cowboys formula for success is very simple. Ezekiel Elliott needs to be carrying the football at least 20 times for them to have a shot. He can’t leave his mark on the game if they don’t feed him the ball. When you let him loose, you see what he’s capable of doing. When everyone is doing their part within this offense, they’re dangerous. You saw that on Monday night against the Giants. Dak threw three touchdown passes. This is the best he’s looked at this point of his career. He’s top ten in pass yards and touchdown passes. This is also an offense that leads the NFL with 436 yards per game. We always talk about a defense that bends but doesn’t break. The Cowboys gave up some big plays to the G-Men on Monday, but when they knew they needed to make a stop, they did. They have a physical front seven that wants to punish you in the trenches. When they really put it altogether, they could be one of the top two defenses in the league. This is an important stretch for the Cowboys. To stay ahead of the Eagles, every game in my opinion is a must-win. They’ll welcome the Vikings to town on Sunday night.

Vikings Player to Watch: Danielle Hunter– He’s a very underrated defensive player. He’s ranked in the top five in tackles for loss (10) and sacks (8.5). He’s a physical force with the hands to rip through blockers. The Cowboys offensive line will need to be ready for what number 99 will bring. Keeping Dak protected will be a major key. The Vikings entire defensive line can get after it, it’s not just this guy.

Cowboys Player to Watch: Amari Cooper– He was the perfect asset to this offense. They needed a threat on that perimeter, he gives them that. The Vikings secondary was torched against Kansas City. If I’m Dallas, I’m getting Coop the ball early and often on-screen passes, down the field, in the redzone, etc. He was bought here for the games under the lights. This is when I need to see him step up even more now.

Final Analysis: This is another big game in the NFC between two teams fighting for playoff positioning. Dallas has a half-game lead over the Philadelphia Eagles for first place in the NFC East. The Vikings are a half-game ahead of the Cowboys in the overall conference standings with a 6-3 record, but they trail the Green Bay Packers by a game in the NFC North. The Cowboys need to keep Dak on his feet. The Vikings are sixth in the NFL in sacks with 28 as a team. Two of the best running backs in the league are featured in this one. Whichever team stops the run will win the game.

Prediction: Cowboys 28 Vikings 24


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