Bob Sansevere: Five keys to Cowboys-Vikings game

2. THE PUNISHER: Moss never has lost a game to Dallas. Fueled by

the Cowboys’ snub of him in the 1998 draft when they had the eighth

overall pick and led him to believe they’d select him, Moss has

trampled Dallas every chance he’s gotten. He is 7-0 against the

Cowboys with 11 touchdowns and a 21-yard average. That’s his best

average against any NFL team. Moss told Dallas media members on

Wednesday that he has forgiven the Cowboys for not drafting him,

saying, “I don’t hold a grudge.” That’s an interesting comment,

considering on that same day he told the Minnesota media the reason

he has been so successful against the Cowboys is because of what

happened in the ’98 draft.

3. DESPERATE AND DANGEROUS: The Cowboys, like the

Vikings, are 1-3 and can’t afford to

fall to 1-4. That becomes a mighty deep hole and would put a crimp

in plans to win the Super Bowl. The Cowboys’ incentive to reach the

Super Bowl is increased because that game will be played at their

stadium. Despite the three losses, the Cowboys’ offense has put up

impressive numbers and ranks second overall in the league. Last

week, in a 34-27 loss to Tennessee, the Cowboys amassed 511 yards.

It was the most by a Dallas team in more than a decade. Tony Romo

passed for 406 yards, Miles Austin had nine catches for 166 yards

and Felix Jones ran for 109 yards. The best way to disrupt the

Cowboys’ offense is for the

Vikings’ defense to torment Romo

when he drops back to pass.

4. THE RUSH: The

Vikings led the NFL with 48 sacks

last season, but they have just six sacks in four games this time

around. Jared Allen, who has had 14.5 sacks in each of the past two

seasons, has one. That has to change, and the Cowboys could be just

the team to do it against. In the NFC divisional playoffs last

season, the

Vikings had six sacks and hit Romo

about 10 times. Ray Edwards, whose 1.5 sacks lead the team, had

three sacks in that game, while Allen had a sack, a forced fumble

and a tackle behind the line of scrimmage. The

Vikings held the Cowboys to a

season-low 248 yards and won 34-3. The way the

Vikings’ offense has been playing,

they might need similar defensive dominance in today’s game.

5. THEIR RUSH: The Cowboys rank eighth in the NFL in total

defense, and a lot of that has to do with the play of the

linebackers in their 3-4 alignment. The most dangerous of the bunch

is pass-rushing fiend DeMarcus Ware. He has six sacks, tied for

second-most in the league, and six tackles for losses. The

Vikings have struggled giving Favre

enough time to locate receivers and, to account for Ware, they will

have to come up with something different today. An extra tight end

would be one option. If the

Vikings control Ware enough to keep

him from constantly harassing Favre, their chances of winning

increase.

3

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo’s NFL ranking with a 68.4

completion percentage. Brett Favre is tied for 27th with Donovan

McNabb; both have a 56.5 percentage.

1

Vikings running back Adrian

Peterson leads the NFL in rushing yards per game with a 120.0

average. At that pace, he would finish with 1,920 yards.

118.5

Cowboys wideout Miles Austin’s average receiving yards per game,

good for first in the NFL.