Week 11 is here. After a tough road loss last Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys (6-3) hit the road again as they face off against the Minnesota Vikings (8-1). Before the Cowboys and Vikings square off in this big matchup, here are three bold predictions for Sunday’s game.
1) Dallas’ defense gets back on track, stopping the run and recording two takeaways
The Cowboys’ defense let them down last week. Given a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter, Dallas’ defense couldn’t hold the lead and ultimately was the biggest reason they lost to the Packers.
The Cowboys gave up an astonishing 207 yards on the ground, and the Packers were able to run the ball at will all game long.
This Sunday, against a talented Minnesota Vikings offense, the defense gets back on track.
The Vikings have a talented rushing attack led by three-time Pro Bowler Dalvin Cook, but a couple of teams have had some success slowing down their run game this season. The Saints, Dolphins, and Commanders, who lost to the Vikings by a combined 14 points, all held Minnesota under 82 total rushing yards.
The Cowboys make amends for their awful effort against the run last Sunday and hold Minnesota’s rushing attack in check. This leads to Dallas unleashing their pass rushers on Kirk Cousins, and they do what they do best, wreak havoc on the quarterback. Dallas puts Cousins under constant duress, leading to a strip-sack by Micah Parsons and the first career interception for second-year corner Kelvin Joseph.
2) Dak Prescott bounces back in a big way, putting together his best performance of the season
Last Sunday against the Packers was not Dak Prescott’s finest hour. While it’s hard to place tons of blame solely on Dak for his two interceptions, he did get off to a slow start and produced his worst completion percentage (58.7%) since Week 13 of last season.
Sunday was just the thirteenth time in Prescott’s career that he has thrown two or more interceptions in a single game. Dallas’ signal-caller had a QB Rating under 79 for just the fifth time since the start of the 2020 season and posted an EPA/play of -0.015 and a CPOE of -3.4.
In his career as a Cowboy, when Prescott has a rough game he usually follows it with a good one. In games after he has thrown two or more interceptions Prescott has completed 70% of his passes, thrown 13 touchdown passes to just six interceptions, and has an average QB Rating of 96.
We are going to see history repeat itself on Sunday as Prescott bounces back and puts together his best performance of the season. Dak throws two touchdown passes and runs one In as well, recording three total touchdowns on the day and being the driving force behind Dallas’ offense.
3) John Fassel breaks out Dallas’ first fake punt of the season
As overall teams, the Cowboys and Vikings are very even. Dallas has an edge at quarterback and the Vikings have an edge in their offensive weapons, but they are neck in neck when you look at their complete rosters.
In a game that likely figures to be a close one, Dallas will be looking to get an edge in any way they can.
Enter Bones Fassel.
Fassel has played things straight so far this season, but on Sunday he’ll unleash his first fake punt of the year.
The Cowboys convert a fake punt when they desperately need it, extending the drive and leading to a touchdown that ultimately is the deciding score in the game.