Cowboys barely escape Minnesota with a win, 17-15

The Dallas Cowboys held on till the very last minute to get a victory over the struggling Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night, 17-15.

It wasn’t pretty, but it’s a win. That is likely the sentiment the Dallas Cowboys are feeling after squeaking out a victory over the Minnesota Vikings at home on Thursday night, 17-15.

The Vikings defense held the Cowboys high-powered offense to just 17 points in the Week 13 matchup. Dallas averaged 28.7 points per game going into the contest. But the Cowboys defense was able to hold Minnesota’s struggling offense under their 19.8 points per contest average as well.

But the Cowboys were certainly their own worst enemy in this game, fumbling the ball a whopping four times (losing two). They also committed 10 total penalties on the night that cost them several big plays and halted almost any offensive momentum.

Although responsible for two fumbles himself, Cowboys rookie quarterback Dak Prescott was Dallas’ most consistent offensive weapon. The 23-year old completed 12 of his 18 pass attempts for 139 yards and one score. For the fifth-straight game, the rookie passer did not throw and interception. Prescott also rushed for 37 yards, which made the difference as it kept Dallas’ scarce drives alive.

The NFL’s leading rusher, Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott, added 86 more yards to his rushing total on Thursday against the Vikings’ touted defense. Zeke toted the rock 20 times and did score a touchdown on the ground, his 12th rushing score this season.

All-Pro wide out Dez Bryant lead the Cowboys’ receiver corps in catches with four for 84 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, it was a bit of a breakout game for third-year linebacker Anthony Hitchens. The former fourth-round pick out of Iowa racked up a game-leading 10 total tackles and had a sack. Hitchens also had an interception that was called back due to an unrelated penalty.

Strong safety Barry Church had nine total tackles in his return. The veteran had been sidelined for a month after suffering a broken forearm. Along with Hitchens, both defensive end Benson Mayowa and rookie defensive tackle Maliek Collins also registered a sack each.

The 11-1 Dallas Cowboys now have a chance to clinch a playoff spot this weekend, if either the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the Washington Redskins lose on Sunday. The Cowboys will have 10-days to rest and plan before their next game. They’ll face the only team they have lost to this season, the 8-3 New York Giants, in the Meadowlands on December 11th at 7:30 pm CST on Sunday Night Football.

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