2021 Record: 8-9
Last Meeting: 10/31/2021 20-16 Dallas Cowboys victory (Dallas Cowboys lead all time series 18-15)
Head Coach: Kevin O’Connell (8-1 as a head coach)
Key Additions: DL Harrison Phillips, OLB Za’Darius Smith, LB Jordan Hicks
Key Departures: CB Mackensie Alexander, TE Tyler Conklin, S Xavier Woods
The 2021 season for the Minnesota Vikings resulted in a below .500 finish and subsequently missing the playoffs and firing their head coach. Insert the new head guy, Kevin O’Connell, and half way through the 2022 season the Minnesota Vikings look like one of the league’s best teams as they are 8-1 and tied for the best record in the NFL. Justin Jefferson and Kirk Cousins have built a connection to put them in the upper echelon of the leagues best duos and with a healthy Dalvin Cook in the backfield, the Vikings look to be one of the leagues most feared offensive units.
Player to watch… Dalvin Cook
If there is one question mark about this Dallas Cowboys defense it is clearly their inability to consistently stop the running game. Dalvin Cook leads one of the better rushing attacks in the NFL and the Cowboys are once again facing another tough test on Sunday afternoon. Stopping Cook and his big play ability will be vital to this teams success.
An 81-yard TD run highlighted @dalvincook's impressive Sunday pic.twitter.com/wwXfH3uhrt— NFL (@NFL) November 15, 2022
Cook has the ability to be a real problem for this Cowboys defense. With the running game being such a point of emphasis for opposing team’s plan of attack against, the defense should come into this game expecting a heavy dose of #4. The passing attack of the Vikings, led by Jefferson and company, is obviously something worth mentioning. But if the running game is able to go out there and be dominant, it could open up a whole world of hurt for this Cowboys defense with the play-action passing attack that Cousins does so well.
Don’t forget about… Adam Thielen
With so much emphasis on stopping the run, and the obvious attention needed for Justin Jefferson, do not make the mistake of forgetting about Adam Thielen and what he brings to this Vikings offense. What makes it more of a concern is the current state of the Cowboys cornerback room. Anthony Brown left the Packers game with a concussion that will be monitored all week to see if he will be available to go, and if not it would be more of Kelvin Joseph who will need to up his game.
The only two players this season with ZERO drops on 50+ targets— NFL on CBS (@NFLonCBS) November 10, 2022
Adam Thielen (57)
Drake London (56) pic.twitter.com/soAyXTPyUS
Through his teams first nine games, Thielen has 43 receptions, 467 yards and two touchdowns while being a sure-handed and trusted target for Kirk Cousins. The Cowboys will have their hands full on Sunday and it will take a much cleaner effort this Sunday to find a way to pull out a victory.