Week 11 Recap: Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings

Week 11 Recap: Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings

by November 23, 2020 0 comments

Dalton Schultz’s touchdown with 1:37 remaining in the fourth quarter was the difference on Sunday, as the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Minnesota Vikings 31-28 at U.S. Bank Stadium. Entering the game on a three-game winning streak, Minnesota (4-6) had the opportunity to overtake their NFC North foes in Chicago for second place in the division. Instead, it was Dallas who made a divisional statement of their own. The Cowboys (3-7) now have the opportunity to leapfrog every team in the NFC East with a win on Thanksgiving day against Washington. 

The Story

Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton won his first game of the year in Week 11 against the Vikings. The win also marked the first time that Dallas has won when Dak Prescott hasn’t been the starting signal-caller in 2020. 

Ezekiel Elliott scored his first touchdown since Week 5 in the first quarter. The score came on the first offensive possession after Cowboys safety Donovan Wilson sacked Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, while forcing a fumble in the process. Elliott’s touchdown was the first time in six games that Dallas got into the end zone in the opening frame. Minnesota responded immediately on its next possession. League-leading rusher Dalvin Cook managed to make his way across the goal line after Cousins led the Vikings down the field and into the red zone. 

The opening scores by each team respectively constituted what was to be seen the rest of the way. It was a back and forth affair highlighted by Cowboys rookie-receiver CeeDee Lamb and Vikings receiver Adam Thielen trading spectacular touchdown receptions. Thielen finished the game with an additional touchdown grab, and a total of 123 yards. For the Cowboys rookie, he averaged 8.5 yards on his four receptions, while being a factor on special teams. 

The Cowboys trailed 28-24 in the fourth quarter, setting up Dalton to execute the two-minute drill and lead his team to their third victory of the 2020 campaign. Completions to Elliott and Schultz in the red zone aided the Dallas offense, eventually leading to the aforementioned game-winning touchdown. The pivotal play on the drive however was a fourth and six reception by Amari Cooper. The catch was Cooper’s sixth of the game. 

Highlights

 

 

A season-ending injury to starting tight end Blake Jarwin in Week 1 allowed Schultz to make his way back into the primary role. Schultz was labeled as Dallas’ starting tight end in 2018 after Jason Witten announced his retirement from the field. Due to the eventual return of Witten in 2019, Schultz was unable to receive the playing time he believed he was in line to get. Dalton will look to carry over the new-found chemistry with Schultz into Week 12.

The Vikings will host the Carolina Panthers in Week 12. After having its win-streak broken by the subpar edition of the 2020 Cowboys, Minnesota will have to take a page out of Dallas’ book and build off the positives. Both Cook and Thielen surpassed a total of 100 yards for the game and Cousins played a relatively clean, efficient game under center.

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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images

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