It has been a rough road for the Cowboys this season. After losing Dak Prescott to a broken ankle, back up quarterback Andy Dalton took over. Dalton then suffered a concussion and a battle with COVID-19. After a bye last week, Dalton was able to recover from both his concussion and coronavirus and was cleared to play against the Vikings, where he did not disappoint.
The Cowboys got on the board first with a six-yard pass to running back Ezekiel Elliot to put the Cowboys on the board 6-0, as the extra point kick from Greg Zuerlein was blocked. The Vikings got on the board in the last two minutes in the first quarter with a one-yard run by running back Dalvin Cook to give the Vikings a one-point lead over the Cowboys.
In the middle of the second half Dalton made a great four-yard throw to wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, who made an excellent catch to give the Cowboys the lead again. A 19-yard field goal by Zuerlein extended the Cowboys lead to 16-7 at the end of the first half.
The Vikings were able to cut the Cowboys lead to two points heading into the fourth quarter after an incredible one-handed catch by wide receiver Adam Thielen. He then made another touchdown catch in the beginning of the fourth quarter to give the Vikings a 21-16 lead.
ADAM THIELEN. UNREAL SKILL. #SKOL
— NFL (@NFL) November 22, 2020
The Cowboys responded with an explosive 42-yard run by running back Tony Pollard to give the Cowboys the lead back after a successful two-point conversion. Cousins then made a huge 39-yard throw to wide receiver Justin Jefferson for a touchdown catch to give the Vikings the lead again.
It all came down to the last two minutes of the quarter. After 11 plays and 61 yards, Dalton made a two-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dalton Schultz to give the Cowboys what was the game winning play to beat the Vikings 31-28.
This was a must needed win for the Cowboys after not getting a win since Oct 11. It was also the performance Dalton needed after a rough few weeks. Dalton ended the game with 22 completions, 203 passing yards, three touchdown passes and only one interception.
Elliot after the game praised Dalton for his late clutch play that gave the Cowboys the victory. “Andy’s a guy that’s played a lot of ball” Elliott said to ESPN. “He’s a vet. I think he’s in year 10. He’s been in that moment a bunch of times. We trust him … He was definitely clutch and came up big at the end.”
Mike McCarthy stresses about how important the next few games will be for the Cowboys if they want to make it to the playoffs. “There’s a lot of football left to be played” McCarthy said to ESPN. “You have to play your best football in November and December, so obviously with the state of our division, that focus is ours. We need to win Thursday and this will be our first opportunity to really stack success, and that’s the key to where we are as a team”.
CeeDee Lamb also said after the game that this exactly what the Cowboys needed to move forward in the season, now being back in the NFC East race. “We’re very hungry, and we’re looking forward to the next game” said Lamb to the Dallas Morning News. “We’re grateful to come out with this dub. It was huge for us.”
The Cowboys will take this win back home where they will welcome the Washington Football Team on Thanksgiving Day for a crucial NFC East matchup. With this loss, the Vikings fall to third in the NFC North, despite the Bears having a BYE and the Packers losing to the Colts in overtime. They will welcome the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, in hopes to bounce back after the hard loss.