The Dallas Cowboys are going to be taking the field against the toughest test they’ve faced yet. These teams are very similar but who has the edge?
The Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings are two teams that are built the same way. Both teams are fueled on offense by two very good running backs, but offense’s that have been very up and down this season. Both also have defenses with strong defensive lines, so who has the edge in this game?
Let’s start on the offensive side of the ball with the quarterbacks and the passing games for these teams. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is coming off a strong performance against the Giants while Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is looking to rebound after losing to the Chiefs last week. Both will lean on their running games to then attack defenses with play-action passing.
Now I’m going to give the edge in this match up to Prescott because he will have a receiving core that is healthy. His ability to spread the ball to Amari Cooper, Randall Cobb, Jason Witten, and Michael Gallup will give Prescott the edge here. Cousins might be without his favorite target in Adam Thielen. Cousins will still have Diggs and can use tight ends Irv Smith Jr. and Kyle Rudolph.
Now when we take a look at the running games for these two teams things are looking better for the Vikings. The Vikings have not one but two very good running backs to attack the Dallas Cowboys with. Dalvin Cook leads in the NFL in rushing and Alexander Mattison who has been a great back up.
Now put that against the Cowboys who have Ezekiel Elliott and back up Tony Pollard. Both are just as talented as the Vikings running backs but the reason I’m going to give the edge to the Vikings is because of their ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Elliott and Pollard can do it but they can’t execute it as well as Cook and Mattison.
On the other side of the football, these teams are built almost exactly the same. Strong defensive lines, solid linebackers in the middle of the field, and a secondary that has had its moments both good and bad. This matchup might be the real reason that either the Dallas Cowboys or the Vikings win this game.
The Dallas Cowboys defense is fueled by the play of their defensive line led by DeMarcus Lawrence and the HotBoyz. While the Vikings look to Anthony Barr and Everson Griffen to create pressure, the Cowboys have a few more players they can lean on. Robert Quinn, Dorance Armstrong, Maliek Collins, and now Michael Bennett. That firepower I believe gives the Cowboys the edge especially with them going up against an offensive line that hasn’t been able to protect Cousins.
The Cowboys also have look to have the edge at the linebacker position as well and I give them the edge because of their speed. Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch, and Sean Lee all bring speed to this linebacker group. The Vikings linebackers are good but they don’t have the speed that the Cowboys have. That speed is what will help the Cowboys try to stop running backs, Cook and Mattison.
On the back end of these defenses, I believe the edge goes to the Cowboys as well. Surprised, well you shouldn’t be, the Cowboys secondary with Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie, Xavier Woods, and Jeff Heath are actually very good. Take away the dumb penalties and you have a group that can shut down passing games. The Vikings on the other hand really only have one player that scares defenses and that’s safety Harrison Smith.
Vikings cornerbacks Xavier Rhodes, and Trae Waynes have been picked on all season. Both giving up big plays and also being flagged consistently as well. The Cowboys should be able to attack both and move the ball down the field.
Overall I believe the Cowboys are going to win this game but they aren’t going to need to lean on their defense to get to Cousins and slow down the running game just as they did this past week against the Giants and Saquon Barkley.
Final Score: Cowboys 27 – Vikings 17