The Cowboys bring the upset in Minnesota.
Rush was far from perfect; this one would’ve been a blowout with Prescott under center. But after a shaky first half, Cooper was much sharper in the second and finished with 325 yards and two touchdowns.
His last play was his best; a perfectly-placed fade to Amari Cooper in the back of the endzone for the game-winning touchdown. That was the cap for a big night from Amari as well with 122 yards on eight catches. CeeDee Lamb wasn’t far behind with six catches for 112 yards.
While Ezekiel Elliott only had 50 rushing yards on 16 carries, his last touch was a crucial play as he helped set up the final TD with a 15-yard reception and strong RAC on 3rd-and-11. Zeke broke multiple tackles to move the chains and keep the drive alive.
But despite those heroics on offense, no single player tonight was more impressive than rookie LB Micah Parsons. The 11 tackles, four for losses, and some pass breakups were enough to be proud of, but Parsons made some of these plays in key moments to stop drives and led a strong overall defensive effort.
Dallas held Minnesota to just 278 total offensive yards. They only surrendered two field goals in the second half, keeping the score manageable enough for Rush and the offense to catch up once they found their rhythm.
Cowboys News: Trevon Diggs Diagnosed with Ankle Sprain After Injury vs. Vikings- Doric Sam, Bleacher Report
In the final seconds of the game, Trevon Diggs suffers a sprained ankle.
Diggs exited the game late in the fourth quarter. Mike Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News reported after the game that Diggs was diagnosed with a sprained right ankle and will undergo further evaluation on Monday.
Tyron Smith exited the game and would not return. The severity of the injury is unknown.
Dallas is currently without All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith. The Cowboys offensive tackle was dealing with an ankle injury heading into Sunday night’s game.
It’s unclear why Smith is out at the moment. However, he reportedly didn’t look very happy on the sideline.
Smith might be done for the night, as he appears to be dealing with his ankle injury.
Smith has dealt with a number of injuries over the years. When healthy, he’s one of the most-dominant offensive linemen in the NFL. Staying healthy is the key, though, and Smith has battled a number of issues in recent seasons.
And one more injury that is feared to be quite serious.
Multiple sources say the fear is rookie LB Jabril Cox suffered a torn ACL in the second half of the win at Minnesota. A blow to the special teams' unit and Cox's development on defense.— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) November 1, 2021
Cooper Rush Seals ‘Sunday Night Football’ Win With Touchdown in First Career Start- Joseph Salvador, Sports Illustrated
Dak was ruled out of the game moments before kickoff. But in his first career start, Cooper Rush gets it done.
Cowboys quarterback Cooper Rush woke up Sunday morning unsure if he’d play in Sunday night’s primetime game against the Vikings. Once it was clear Dak Prescott couldn’t start because of a calf injury, Rush was informed he’d be making the first start of his career on Sunday Night Football.
Sure enough, the 27-year-old had the game of his life with his wife and parents in attendance. He threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Amari Cooper with less than a minute to go in regulation to take a four-point lead in tight coverage.
The Vikings couldn’t drive down the field in time to answer and the Cowboys came away with the 20–16 win. Rush tallied 325 passing yards, two touchdown passes and an interception in his first career start. Before Sunday night’s game, he had appeared in just two games during his rookie year back in 2017 where he completed just one of three passes for two yards.
Rush struck gold early in the game with a 73-yard touchdown to Cedrick Wilson and set the tone for what turned out to be a night he’ll never forget.
5 takeaways from Cowboys-Vikings: Cooper Rush has solid first start as Dallas edges Minnesota- Calvin Watkins, DMN
Despite the impressive performance from the Cowboys, it was not all pretty.
The defense’s mistakes
For the majority of the night, the Cowboys’ defense kept them in this game. This was one of those games where you expected the defense to step up given the changes made in the offseason, from the coordinator to the personnel. But in their next-to-last defensive drive they committed three penalties, two on Randy Gregory for personal fouls and one on Terrell Basham for a late hit on quarterback Kirk Cousins. But on the final play of the game, it was Gregory and Basham chasing Cousins down as he threw the final pass of the night that landed incomplete.
Offensive line woes
The Cowboys used seven offensive linemen in the first half. It was a unique way to get protection for Cooper Rush and to open rushing lanes on Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard. Yet, there were big problems. Left tackle Tyron Smith missed five offensive snaps in the first half with an ankle injury and was replaced by Ty Nsekhe who struggled at times, particularly at the end of the first half. The Cowboys were looking for consistency with their offensive line so that explains why Nsekhe remained at left tackle. But La’el Collins might have been a better option.
The Halloween Sunday Night Football game was filled with tricks and treats.
7. MITIGATING MISTAKES - Greg Zuerlein pulled a 43-yard field goal early, Rush committed two turnovers in the middle, CeeDee Lamb dropped a key pass and Dallas’ defense was called for three personal fouls on a Minnesota scoring drive late.
Usually, Prescott can camouflage those miscues. But on a freaky Sunday night in Minneapolis, it was Rush who drove the Cowboys 75 in eight plays in the final two minutes for an improbable win in which they didn’t lead until 51 seconds remained.
6. FRIGHT NIGHT - The Cowboys are now 4-4 on Halloween. None scarier than this one.
5. EMBARRASSMENT OF RECEIVER RICHES - We watch a lot of football. We zero in on the NFC East. And we’re telling you, the Washington Football Team (even with the very good Terry McLaurin), Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants would kill for a No. 1 receiver as good as the Cowboys’ No. 4, Cedrick Wilson.
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