ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – In a game where Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper looked unstoppable against the Minnesota Vikings’ secondary, the only thing that seemed to stop them was their own running game.
Prescott threw for 397 yards and three touchdowns while Cooper caught 11 passes for 147 and a score, but it wasn’t enough as the Cowboys fell 28-24.
“I thought Amari was fantastic in the game, obviously, and he made a number of big plays, time and time again and not easy plays. Dak made some big throws in some critical moments on third down and down in the red zone. Amari hooked up on some stuff that was not easy. Plays on the sideline, getting your feet down,” head coach Jason Garrett said.
However, it was during a crucial moment with under a minute left in the red zone that Prescott and Cooper were nowhere to be seen.
It was on the Cowboys’ second-to-last drive where two runs by Ezekiel Elliott in the red zone were stuffed by the Vikings defense, leading to a fourth down pass that was ultimately batted down.
The Cowboys running game was unable to get anything going as runs were constantly being stopped at the line of scrimmage. Elliott finished with 20 carries for 47 yards.
The passing game shined through the Sunday night matchup as Cobb added six catches for 106 yards and a score and Michael Gallup four catches for 76 yards and a touchdown.
It was a different story for the Vikings offense as Dalvin Cook lit up the Cowboys defense at times with 26 carries for 97 yards and a touchdown along with seven catches for 86 yards.
“I still think we played well [as a defensive line]. But we still have to rally to the ball. They did a lot of screens and boots and went sideline to sideline trying to out tempo us,” DeMarcus Lawrence said.
The game got off to a slow start for the Cowboys, which has become a norm for the 2019 team, as they quickly fell 14-0 in the first quarter. However, the offense picked up the slack and scored twice to tie it in the second. The Vikings went on to closely keep the lead for the remainder of the game.
Linebacker Jaylon Smith was asked about another slow start for the defense. “It’s unacceptable. We have to start fast. That’s something that we hound on and preach on. Biggest thing is that when it’s Sunday, you have to do it. It has nothing to do with preparation or intensity. We really need to concentrate more,” he said.
The head-scratching moment of the week will possibly be the Cowboys’ decision to run twice late in the game down four points. Right before that, Dallas had driven down the field with catches by Cooper, Cobb and Witten.
“Obviously, we were trying to score a touchdown. We got into a second and short distance and we tried to run it a couple of times just to get the first down and they did a good job defending the runs and it went to a fourth down situation and we just weren’t able to convert,” Garrett said.
The Cowboys are now 5-4 on the season and will now get ready for another NFC North matchup at the Detroit Lions next Sunday at noon.