Cowboys crush Vikings’ 7-game win streak with 40-3 romp
MINNEAPOLIS - Tony Pollard had two touchdown catches for Dallas with a career-high 189 yards from scrimmage, and the Cowboys sacked Kirk Cousins a career-most seven times in a 40-3 victory over Minnesota on Sunday that slammed the Vikings’ seven-game winning streak to a screeching halt.
Dak Prescott was flawless at quarterback, Ezekiel Elliott rushed for two scores in his return from injury and Brett Maher made four field goals - including a 60-yarder to end the first half. The Cowboys (7-3) didn’t punt until their eighth possession, and the defense was just as good.
Micah Parsons and Dorance Armstrong had two sacks apiece in the fifth-largest loss ever for the Vikings - and the biggest road win in Cowboys history.
The Vikings (8-2) have been the king of the comebacks in an NFL season featuring the smallest average winning margin in 90 years, none more remarkable than last week at Buffalo when they turned a 17-point deficit late in the third quarter into an overtime victory.
Parsons promised Prescott and the offense this week the Cowboys would never again lose a 14-point fourth-quarter lead like they did last week for the first time in franchise history when they fell in overtime at Green Bay.
They carried out a near-perfect game plan with stunning ease against a team that entered the week tied for the best record in the league.
After surrendering 200 rushing yards in consecutive games for the first time since their 1960 inaugural season, the Cowboys flipped the script by gaining 108 yards on the ground in the first half. Seven of their eight third-down conversions came by rushing, and then they turned Pollard loose as a pass-catcher out of the backfield.
The epitome of the blowout came soon after halftime when the Cowboys faced third-and-14. With no hurry to throw - he was not sacked all afternoon - Prescott found Pollard in a one-on-one mismatch with linebacker Jordan Hicks and lofted a pass near the sideline for a 68-yard score that gave Dallas a 30-3 lead. The Vikings were so out of sorts they had six penalties for 54 yards in the third quarter alone.
Cousins went 12 for 23 for 105 yards and a lost fumble that Parsons forced with a blind-side sack the first time the Vikings tried to pass. Justin Jefferson, coming off a career-high 193 receiving yards against the Bills, had 33 yards on three catches.
Pollard, the Cowboys’ most dangerous weapon on offense all year, finished with six catches for 109 yards and 15 rushes for 80 yards.
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