Dallas Cowboys stun Minnesota Vikings, 31-28
The Cowboys emerged from their bye with a healthy Andy Dalton and a much more competent offense, including Ezekiel Elliott recording his first 100-yard rushing game of the season during the team’s 31-28 upset win. The Vikings’ defense had been playing much better of late, yet Dalton’s return resulted in as many touchdowns before halftime (two) that Dallas had scored in total since Dak Prescott went down in Week 5.
Elliott had still been battling hamstring issues throughout practice this week but looked better after the bye, although Tony Pollard recorded Dallas’ longest run of the season during his 42-yard touchdown … CeeDee Lamb had a really nice TD catch, and Dalton Schultz should be a weekly viable option now in a weak tight end group. However, the Cowboys’ schedule doesn’t look super easy down the stretch, so while Dalton’s return helps, it remains unlikely the team can keep three wide receivers’ fantasy values afloat as everyone hoped entering the season.
Dalvin Cook lost a fumble but shook off a hard hit and continues to look like the best back in the league right now, while Kirk Cousins entered leading the NFL in Passer Rating during the fourth quarter and then added another two TD tosses in the game’s final 15 minutes. Cousins leads the league in YPA this season (and ranks second in CPAE) and has now thrown a whopping 14 touchdowns over five home games.
Adam Thielen entered as the NFL’s leader in end-zone targets and added another two touchdown grabs, while Justin Jefferson entered with the most receiving yards in the league since Week 3 (and averaging the third-most receiving yards per game ever as a rookie) and scored Sunday as well. Jefferson is yet another impressive rookie receiver this year, as he actually leads the NFL in yards per route run, although he had a drop that helped end Minnesota’s final drive. The Vikings remain one of the league’s biggest enigmas, as this was their first loss since Week 6 (when they were also sizable home favorites).