Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys vs. Vikings preview: Dallas closing out tight 3-game stretch

Sean Lee and the Dallas Cowboys have not allowed a 100-yard rusher all season.
Sean Lee and the Dallas Cowboys have not allowed a 100-yard rusher all season. Special to the Star-Telegram

The Dallas Cowboys will be playing their third game in 12 days when they visit the Minnesota Vikings in a Thursday Night Football game.

The recent wins over Baltimore and Washington at home have been part of the Cowboys’ 10-game winning streak.

The Vikings began the season 5-0, but have sunk to 6-5, partly because of injuries. They’re coming off a gut-wrenching 16-13 Thanksgiving loss at Detroit.

The same type of hype that surrounded the Vikings at the beginning of the season has made it’s way to Dallas and rightfully so.

In addition to the winning streak, the Cowboys have formed an all-round team.

Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott and rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott have flashed their star power, but the Cowboys are getting production from all angles and areas.

Prescott leads all rookies with 2,835 passing yards, 18 touchdown passes and a 108.6 passer rating while Elliott leads the NFL with 1,199 rushing yards, the most by a rookie in franchise history.

The Cowboys have not allowed a 100-yard rusher for the 11 consecutive games, the only team in the league to accomplish that feat this season, and they have the best kicker in the NFL in Dan Bailey.

The Cowboys have limited their bad plays and will have to again against the opportunistic Vikings, who have a plus-12 turnover margin.

Minnesota’s defense ranks third in the league, allowing 307 yards per game. Cornerback Xavier Rhodes has four interceptions, including a team-record 100-yard interception-return touchdown in Week 11.

Quarterback Sam Bradford can be dangerous at home. He has passed for 1,261 yards (252.2 per game) with seven touchdowns and no interceptions for 109.2 rating in five games at home with Minnesota. The Vikings are 4-1 in home games.

Wide receiver Stefon Diggs is a game-breaker with 67 receptions.

Dallas leads the all-time series 15-14.

In an interesting note, the Cowboys are playing in only their second Dec. 1 game in franchise history. The only other game on Dec. 1 came in 1963, a 34-27 home loss against the New York Giants.

The Cowboys set a team record ten-game winning streak, beating the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving Day

Statistical comparisons

Cowboys

Vikings

Record

10-1

6-5

Scoring average

28.7

19.8

Opp. Scoring average

19.4

17.5

Total offense

407.6

294.9

Rushing

157.3

71.1

Passing

250.4

223.8

Total defense

362.2

307.0

Turnover margin

+3

+12

Penalties/yards

69-574

72-620

Dallas Cowboys regular-season schedule

Sept. 11

Giants 20, Cowboys 19

Sept. 18

Cowboys 27, Redskins 23

Sept. 25

Cowboys 31, Bears 17

Oct. 2

Cowboys 24, 49ers 17

Oct. 9

Cowboys 28, Bengals 14

Oct. 16

Cowboys 30, Packers 16

Oct. 23

Bye

Oct. 30

Cowboys 29, Eagles 23, OT

Nov. 6

Cowboys 35, Browns 10

Nov. 13

Cowboys 35, Steelers 30

Nov. 20

Cowboys 27, Ravens 17

Nov. 24

Cowboys 31, Redskins 26

Dec. 1

at Minnesota

7:25 p.m.

KXAS/5, NFL Net.

and Twitter

Dec. 11

at NY Giants

7:30 p.m.

KXAS/5

Dec. 18

vs. Tampa Bay

Noon

KDFW/4

Dec. 26

vs. Detroit

7:30 p.m.

ESPN

Jan. 1

at Philadelphia

Noon

KDFW/4

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