Cowboys @ Vikings Final Score: Dallas Wins Ugly, 17-15 - Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys
The Cowboys survived the Vikings tough defense, and their own mistakes, Halprin writes.
The Dallas Cowboys got a very ugly win over the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night, 17-15. The Cowboys were plagued by miscues, penalties and turnovers all game. They never really found a rhythm on offense and struggled just to get 17 points on the board. But even though they were bent on self-destruction, they still managed to get a win. Their win streak is now at 11 games and they still have a chance to clinch a playoff spot this weekend.
Cowboys show again that only perfect performance will beat them - Kevin Seifert, ESPN
You simply cannot afford mistakes against the Cowboys, Seifert summarizes.
Did the Cowboys take another step on their march to the Super Bowl in a 17-15 victory over the Vikings? Or were they simply fortunate to have faced a flawed team that was playing without the head coach, offensive coordinator, quarterback, running back and offensive tackles with which it opened training camp?
The answer, from my perspective, is both. The Cowboys, who pushed their winning streak to 11 games, are having the NFL's best season. But they were on the ropes Thursday night in a number of instances, and only the Vikings' offensive ineptitude -- and a key special-teams fumble -- got them home.
Amid all the debate about how good the Cowboys might be, we can say this: You're toast if you make mistakes against them.
The Vikings gave the NFL a blueprint to beat the Cowboys - Dieter Kurtenbach, FOX Sports
The Cowboys are certainly not invincible, but a wouldn't a blueprint to beat the Cowboys at least require that you actually beat the Cowboys?
Not every team can execute at the necessary level to beat Dallas — the Vikings came close but weren't able to pull it off themselves— but Minnesota's performance should be closely studied by the Seahawks, Redskins, and even teams like the Buccaneers and Eagles, because it should be highly useful down the stretch and in the NFC playoffs.
The blueprint to stop the Dallas offense is simple: Have a great defensive line that attacks right tackle Doug Free, have cornerbacks that you're willing to leave on an island, and bring A-gap pressure with linebackers and your free safety, which will disrupt the Cowboys' protections.
The problem: It's not so easy to execute.
Dallas Cowboys show their toughness in win when things weren't easy - Todd Archer, ESPN
The Cowboys' offense was held to season lows in a number of areas, but they left Minnesota with a victory ahead of a much-needed 10-day break.
Minnesota was able to get within the two-point try of tying the game, but while the defense bent in giving up Jerick McKinnon's touchdown catch, it did not break on the two-point attempt. Cedric Thornton pressured Sam Bradford, his former Philadelphia Eagles teammate, into a high throw.
It wasn’t easy, but it’s not supposed to be easy.
All that matters is the Cowboys have all but clinched a playoff appearance with their 11th win in a row.
Scout’s Eye: Defense At Its Best on a Short Field, Hitchens’ Night, More - Bryan Broaddus, Dallas Cowboys
Broaddus leads off his game summary by highlighting the defensive effort.
I continue to say that this Dallas defense is at its best when it can play on a short field. They tend to bring more pressure with their front, which affects the quarterback, and the secondary is able to use the smaller space in order to stay in coverage and clog those throwing windows. They were able to do it after the Dak Prescott fumble as well as on the two-point conversion where Bradford was high with his pass.
Heck of a night from Anthony Hitchens. He led the team with 10 tackles and had a sack. He also had an interception taken away from him after a questionable hands to the face call on Orlando Scandrick. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen linebackers coach Matt Eberflus run drills where his guys had to sprint across the field, extend their hands and make a snatch catch on the move. Even though it was called back, it was nice to see that type of work during practice pay off.
Cowboys-Vikings highlights, score: Dez ties Michael Irvin on Cowboys TD list - CBSSports.com
Dez Bryant is now tied in career touchdowns with the man who used to wear No. 88.
Dez has been one of the best receivers in the NFL pretty much from the moment he stepped on the field, and that's continued throughout his career -- as long as he's been healthy. On Thursday night against the Vikings, Bryant had what had to be a pretty special moment: he caught the 66th touchdown pass of his NFL career, tying him with Irvin for second place on the Cowboys' all-time list.
Dez Bryant: Plan is 'way much bigger' than 11-1 - Brandon George, SportsDay
Bryant Bryant wanted to keep the focus on the 11-1 Cowboys and not individual success.
"We're dealing with something that's way much more bigger than records and all that kind of stuff," Bryant said. "We're a football team, and that's the most beautiful thing that we got. We stick with one another throughout the good and the bad, and y'all witnessed that tonight and those are the type of things that we care about is pulling out victories like this."
Dak Prescott is putting the seven QBs drafted ahead of him to shame - Staff, SportsDay
Think of this as "Trolling the Rookie QBs" as the DMN runs down what each of the QBs drafted ahead of Prescott have accomplished so far.