Minneapolis – Don’t stomp the North Texas Cowboys in the back.
Don’t hack the 2022 edition of the Cowboys defense, as many gathered last week.
Don’t let DQ say something “stinks”.
Don’t make Micah “nasty”.
And thanks to Jim Cross, let’s put it that way about the Cowboys’ defensive performance here Sunday afternoon, which is a complete order of failure in their 31-28 overtime loss to Green Bay last Sunday. Something like this happens:
You don’t pull on a Superman cape
You don’t spit in the wind
You don’t pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger
And you don’t mess with Jim.
How else do you explain this defensive Cowboys comeback after just seven days, stuffing all the “SKOL” stuff down these Vikings’ throats on their way to their first outing of the season, hitting the Vikings 40-3 harder than anyone hitting the Vikings’ drum before kickoff.
Why was the last time the majority of the 65,304 people in purple clapped on a Sunday afternoon in the run-up to the opening game, they did this traditional “SKOL” clap, “SKOL” clap, “SKOL clap”. Because in the end, it was The Cowboys and their many fans do all the applause.
“It felt good and satisfying,” said Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown as the Cowboys moved into a 7-3 second-place finish and into a tie for second with a 7-3 Giants team, holding a game in hand and having to play in four days.
“Crazy, out of the charts tonight.”
I can say that again. Think about this. The Cowboys held the Vikings’ high-scoring offense (25 points per game) to just a field goal. Three stops. Only three. The Cowboys held the Vikings to 183 total yards. the total. Running back Dalvin Cook led to 72 yards, and the Vikings to 73 yards, after giving up 240 rushes to the Bears and 207 to the Packers in the previous two games.
And poor Kurt Cousins, 12 of 23 passing, 105 yards, 64.6 QB rating, get that, even sacks. Seven. think about it.
Oh, and all this talk of how the Cowboys can handle the impossible Justin Jefferson, who caught 1,060 receiving yards in the NFL’s second coming into the game, many are speculating how he’ll take that defense to lunch.
Well, between Cowboys rushing Trayvon Diggs and scoring offense on the first seven possessions, Jefferson wasn’t a factor in the game, finishing with three very quiet catches for 33 yards, slightly better than his two catches for 21 yards in the Cowboys’ 20-16 victory last year over Vikings.
Just close Vikings faster than the bar at closing time.
“Exactly what I expected,” said Jayron Kearse, knowing that the Cowboys also recorded 13 QB hits and eight tackles for losses. “We knew we were going to come in and knock them off their horse.”
Here was the key to unraveling this offense in Minnesota, and even on Vikings soil. First, the Cowboys offense was hot, and ended up with a 458-yard drive, forcing the Vikings to play from behind. After that, the Vikings Cowboys caught a decent amount of rushing early on. This meant that their cousins had to throw the ball. But he rarely had anywhere to go with the ball, and the Cowboys high school, especially Diggs, Brown, and DaRon Bland, play stick ’em coverage.
This has led to what no team would want to find themselves against the Cowboys: having to protect their quarterbacks in specific pass situations. That’s right there, a deficit, not running the ball, both unleashing those killer passes, now with an NFL-high 42 sacks in 10 games.
“Our defensive line did a really good job of pressing him,” said Diggs. “Credit to the defensive line and we cover our butts at the back end.”
A sure recipe for these guys to earn a reprieve, and send everyone scrambling for that elusive, much-sought-after title before that Green Bay game.