In a pitiful display of offensive and defensive football, the Cowboys dominated the Vikings 40-3. The offense could not establish any rhythm, and the Cowboys dominated the time of possession throughout the game. Kirk Cousins was constantly under duress, especially after Christian Darrisaw went down with a concussion in the first quarter.
Here are ten takeaways from the Vikings’ vicious defeat.
1. Kirk’s Record Of Consecutive Games With A Passing TD Comes To An End
As I previously mentioned, the Vikings’ offensive performance was particularly pitiful. Kirk finished the game 12 of 23 for 105 yards, zero TDs, and zero INTs. He was sacked a total of seven times and never looked comfortable.
2. Brandel’s Performance Against the Cowboys Was Pitiful
Blake Brandel filled in admirably for Christian Darrisaw when they played the Buffalo Bills last week. This week that was not the case, as the offensive line struggled. They gave up seven sacks and a total of 13 QB hits.
3. The Vikings’ Offense Was Miserable
They finished the game with 183 total yards on offense. Their third down conversion percentage was just over 9% on one of 11 attempts. It was hard to watch, and it never got better throughout the game.
4. Tony Pollard Killed The Defense On The Ground And Through The Air
He carried the ball 15 times for 80 yards. He also had six receptions for 109 yards and two TDs.
5. The Vikings’ Defense Could Not Get Off Of The Field On Third Down
As much as the Vikings struggled on third down, the Cowboys excelled. They finished the game 12 of 17 on third down conversions for a percentage of 71%.
6. Run Defense Was Getting Bullied All Over The Field
One of the main struggles that the defense had was getting stops on third down, and it was related to them not being able to stop the run. The Cowboys ran 40 times for a total of 151 yards and two TDs (both of which came from Zeke Elliott).
7. T.J. Hockenson Struggled In His Third Game As A Viking
He was the leading receiver for the Vikings, but he only had a total of 34 yards. He had five receptions on nine targets. A couple of his drops were at horrible times as well: one could have been a touchdown, and one could have converted a third down. He also had an offensive pass interference call that killed a drive.
8. Dalvin Cook Got A Big Run In The Third Quarter, But It Got Taken Away By A Taunting Call
In what seems to be an uncharacteristic blunder, Dalvin Cook got a taunting penalty called against him after a big run. He had earned a first down on a nice 11-yard run, but it was taken away when he was flagged for taunting.
9. One Particularly Bad Drive In The Third Quarter Summarized The Vikings’ Offensive Performance As A Whole
Dalvin Cook got an 11-yard run before Kirk would complete an 11-yard pass to T.J. Hockenson. Then it all went downhill; Kirk had three incomplete passes before a completion to Hockenson that gained no yardage. Then the Vikings had two false start penalties, and Kirk got sacked before they punted the ball on 4th & 23.
10. Maybe I Should Not Attend Vikings Games For The Foreseeable Future
I did enjoy being at US Bank Stadium with my family for my first regular season Vikings game. However, it is the second game that I have attended at US Bank Stadium, and the Vikings have lost both games. This game versus the Cowboys was tough to watch as there are no positive takeaways for the Vikings that I could think of.
Yes, this was a terrible loss for the Vikings, but it is only one game. They still have a good record of 8-2 and now know many different aspects of their game that need to improve. It’s a short week before they play the Patriots on Thursday and hopefully get this bad taste of losing out of their mouths. Keep checking The Daily Skol on a short week for more great Vikings content.