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Thursday Night Football Game Notes

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by NFL Media

THURSDAY NIGHT NOTES:

DALLAS COWBOYS (10-1) AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS (6-5)

December 1, 2016

Week 13 gets underway on Thursday night when the Minnesota Vikings host the Dallas Cowboys (NBC, NFL Network, Twitter; 8:25 PM ET). Led by the rookie duo of QB DAK PRESCOTT and RB EZEKIEL ELLIOTT, the Cowboys have won 10 games in a row, the longest regular-season winning streak in a single season in franchise history. 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. Minnesota’s defense ranks third in the league, allowing 307 yards per game. Vikings WR STEFON DIGGS ranks third in the NFC with 67 receptions and CB XAVIER RHODES ties for second in the conference with four interceptions, including a team-record 100-yard interception return touchdown in Week 11. In the last meeting between the clubs (November 3, 2013), Dallas QB TONY ROMO threw a game-winning seven-yard touchdown pass to WR DWAYNE HARRIS with 35 seconds remaining in the Cowboys’ 27-23 win.

REGULAR SEASON SERIES

  COWBOYS VIKINGS
SERIES LEADER Series tied: 11-11
STREAKS 2 of past 3
COACHES VS. OPP. Jason Garrett: 1-0 Mike Zimmer: 0-0
LAST WEEK W 31-26 vs. Washington L 16-13 at Detroit
LAST GAME 11/3/13: Vikings 23 at Cowboys 27. Dallas QB Tony Romo passes for 337 yards & 2 TDs, incl. GW 7-yard TD to WR Dwayne Harris with 35 seconds remaining. Cowboys DT Nick Hayden has FR-TD.
LAST GAME AT SITE 10/17/10: Vikings 24, Cowboys 21. Minnesota WR Percy Harvin has 95-yard KR-TD. Vikings LB E.J. Henderson has 2 INTs & 9 tackles.
REFEREE Tony Corrente
BROADCAST NBC (8:30 PM ET): Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya (Field reporter). Westwood One: Ian Eagle, Tony Boselli. SIRIUS: 88 (WW1), 83 (Dal), 81 (Min). XM: 88 (WW1). 226 (Dal), 225 (Min).

STATS

PASSING Dak Prescott (R): 231-340-2835-18-2-108.6 Sam Bradford: 248-348-2415-12-3-98.3
RUSHING Ezekiel Elliott (R): 243-1199-4.9-11 Jerick McKinnon: 106-316-3.0-1
RECEIVING Cole Beasley: 58-647-11.2-5 Stefon Diggs: 67-747-11.1-2
OFFENSE 407.6 294.9
TAKE/GIVE +3 +12
DEFENSE 362.2 307.0
SACKS Tyrone Crawford: 3.5 Danielle Hunter: 7.5
INTs Barry Church: 2 Xavier Rhodes: 4
PUNTING Chris Jones: 46.5 Jeff Locke: 44.5
KICKING Dan Bailey: 94 (34/34 PAT; 20/22 FG) Kai Forbath: 13 (4/5 PAT; 3/3 FG)

 

NOTES

COWBOYS: Rookie QB DAK PRESCOTT leads NFL rookies in pass yards (2,835), pass TDs (18) & rating (108.6). In 5 career road games, has 1,350 pass yards (270 per game), 10 TDs & 1 INT for 119.5 rating…Rookie RB EZEKIEL ELLIOTTleads NFL with 1,199 rush yards & ranks 2nd in scrimmage yards (1,502) & rush TDs (11). Has 306 scrimmage yards (153 per game) & 5 TDs (4 rush, 1 rec.) in past 2 on road…WR COLE BEASLEY has 3 rec. TDs in past 3 on road. WR DEZ BRYANThas 49 TD catches since 2012, most in NFL. Has 5 rec. TDs in past 6. WR TERRANCE WILLIAMS had TD catch in Week 12. TE JASON WITTEN had 8 receptions for 102 yards & TD in last meeting. Ranks 2nd all-time among TEs with 1,072 receptions & 11,768 rec. yards…DE DEMARCUS LAWRENCE has 7 sacks in past 7 on road. LB SEAN LEE ranks 2nd in NFC with 105 tackles. Aims for 9th in row on road with 8+ tackles. CB ORLANDO SCANDRICK had INT in last meeting…VIKINGS: QB SAM BRADFORD passed for 295 yards & TD for 103.4 rating in last meeting (11/8/15 with Phi.). Has passed for 1,261 yards (252.2 per game) with 7 TDs & 0 INTs for 109.2 rating in 5 games at home with Min…RB MATT ASIATA aims for 4th in row with rush TD…WR STEFON DIGGS ranks 3rd in NFC with 67 receptions. In past 4, has 40 receptions (10 per game) for 357 yards & TD. WR ADAM THIELEN has TD catch in 2 of past 3. Has 260 rec. yards (86.7 per game) & 2 TDs in past 3 at home. TE KYLE RUDOLPH had TD catch in last meeting. Ties for NFC lead among TEs with 5 rec. TDs…DE EVERSON GRIFFENhad sack in last meeting. Has 28.5 sacks since 2014, 2nd in NFC. DE BRIAN ROBISON has 8 sacks in past 7 at home. Has 2.5 sacks in 2 career meetings. LB ANTHONY BARR had sack last week. S HARRISON SMITH aims for 12th in row with 6+ tackles. Has 390 tackles since 2012, 2nd among NFC safeties.

Charlie’s game prediction surely to go wrong:

The Cowboys have been an offensive machine, but this is a bad matchup for them.  Minnesota’s offensive line can’t pass block, but the Cowboys can’t rush the passer.  The Vikings should hang around in this one and we’re predicting Dak Prescott to have his worst game of the season.  With that in consideration, the loss of head coach Mike Zimmer is pretty big and that will be the difference in the game.  Cowboys 20, Vikings 17. 


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.