Unfortunately for the Dallas Cowboys. they allowed certain matchups to get the better of them last week against the Green Bay Packers and it ultimately helped lead to their demise. If they don’t want a repeat performance against the Minnesota Vikings, they absolutely have to do a much better job of winning, or at the very least, containing some of these key matchups in Week 11.
Today, we’re going to take a look at a few of these key matchups the Dallas Cowboys can’t allow to sway the outcome of the game. If they do, it will more than likely lead to yet another disappointing loss.
Cowboys’ run defense vs. Vikings’ rushing attack
The last two games the Dallas Cowboys have given up a total of 447 total rushing yards against the Chicago Bears (240) and Green Bay Packers (207). You can bet the Minnesota Vikings are fully aware of this and will also try to take advantage of Dallas’ porous run defense. And unfortunately for the Cowboys, the Vikings RB duo of Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison are more than capable of doing just as much damage considering they are averaging 4.5 yards per carry as a team so far this season.
The only thing that has held back the Vikings rushing attack this year is how few times they actually run the ball. It will be important for the Cowboys to get a lead to help mitigate the Vikings’ rushing attack, because Minnesota’s game plan will surely be to run it more often this week. This matchup alone could very well decide the outcome of this game.
Cowboys’ CBs vs. WR Justin Jefferson
In Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson, and now T.J. Hockenson the Vikings have as formidable of a passing attack as the Cowboys have seen all season. Any single one of this trio is more than capable of causing problems for Dallas, but it’s Jefferson who is probably going to be the biggest threat in this Week 11 matchup. The 23-year-old WR is one of the best receivers in the league and has already proven he’s more than capable of changing the outcome of any given game.
The Cowboys don’t often have Trevon Diggs travel with receivers, but it may have to be a consideration this week. The Cowboys losing Jourdan Lewis and having a banged-up Anthony Brown could lead the Vikings to target the Dallas depth at the position. Having Diggs on Jefferson as much as possible would help. Hopefully, they can find some way to contain No. 18.
Cowboys’ EDGE rushers vs. Vikings’ OTs, and vice versa
Whichever team can best pressure and protect the QB will be grab the advantage this Week 11 matchup. Micah Parsons and the other Cowboys pass rusher’s will have to find some way to get the best of Christian Darrisaw, who is currently PFF’s top-rated OL this year (89.8). And on the flipside, both Terence Steele and Tyler Smith will have their hands full with Za’Darius Smith (1st) and Danielle Hunter (10th), who, according to PFF, are the only pass rushing duo in the league who are both in the top 10 pressuring the QB this year.