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Dalvin Cook got plenty of volume on the ground, but he was a star on SNF in the passing game. He caught all seven of his targets, and he turned six of them into first downs. Demarcus Lawrence made a really nice play to chase Cook down for no gain in the fourth quarter, but outside of that one play, the Cowboys had no answer for Cook and the Vikings' screen game all night long.
Simply put, Kirk Cousins entered Dallas and executed the game plan. He didn't have to do anything amazing, and he certainly didn't carry the team to victory, but Minnesota clearly wanted to play off their outside zone run scheme – with plenty of play-action working off it – and Cousins got the job done. The veteran QB didn't have any big-time throws on the night, but he didn't have any turnover-worthy plays either.
The Vikings' defense was always going to struggle to rush the passer from the middle of the defense without Linval Joseph. The question was going to be could the edge rushing pair of Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter would be able to cause pressure against the high quality tackles the Cowboys have. While Griffen and Hunter did record a fair amount of pressure, the number of plays where Prescott could sit in a clean pocket let the Cowboys' offense gain chunk yards over and over again.
Dallas' defense didn't play great as a unit, but Demarcus Lawrence played at an elite level individually. He tallied a couple of pressures on the night, and he was a standout player in run defense.
It was a rough night for Dallas' linebackers, as Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch and Sean Lee all struggled throughout this one. Against the run, Minnesota was consistently able to get to and move the linebackers at the second level on stretch zone plays, and they also had their share of struggles in pass coverage.
Amari Cooper was all over the Vikings defense. He showed off great route-running ability and had multiple toe-tapping catches along the sideline.
After a slow start, the Cowboys' offense started to pick up steam in the second quarter and never let up. Prescott took advantage of his clean pockets and found open receivers down the field all throughout the contest.