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Cowboys Survive Final Minute Thriller In Minnesota

Cowboys defense shows toughness PENN STATE VIA FLICKR


Cowboys’ Defense Shows Toughness in Hostile Environment

Thursday Night Football saw one of its most intense and thrilling games of the year. The Cowboys came into the Vikings‘ beautiful new stadium having won ten games in a row. The Vikings were a desperate team playing at home with one of the league’s top defenses and they were able to slow the Dallas offense, yet the Cowboys found a way to win due to their defensive toughness throughout the game. After a failed two point conversion with under 30 seconds, the Cowboys would go on to defeat the Vikings 17-15.

The Cowboys have been winning so many games this season by scoring 25+ points with ease. This match up was a huge wake up call for the young rookie duo leading the Dallas offense. Dak Prescott had his worst game statistically of the season, passing for only 139 yards off of just 18 attempts.

The offense failed to get much going early on and much of the first half. The Cowboys managed just seven points in the first half, thanks to an Ezekiel Elliott touchdown run. The one constant in which the Cowboys have relied so heavily on all season was stalling. The toughness of the Minnesota front seven was making their presence felt.

If the Cowboys were going to come away with a big road win, something was going to have to propel them as the offense simply wasn’t clicking. The often mocked Dallas defense played out of their minds Thursday night. They were able to force a key turn over and made Bradford get rid of the ball quickly.

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The mental and physical toughness of Dallas‘ defensive captain, Sean Lee made a huge impact. His leadership provided his team with confidence and determination. Lee made numerous open field tackles that forced bad situations for the Minnesota offense. The entire defensive unit stepped up and kept the Vikings out of the end zone for nearly the entire game until the final minute.

Even the Cowboys‘ rookie corner out of Purdue, Anthony Brown was making plays. He had a crucial pass break up deep down the sideline that might have saved a touchdown. Brandon Carr, Byron Jones, and the return of Barry Church boosted the Dallas secondary. When a key phase of the Cowboys‘ game was struggling, another fought hard and picked up the slack. The Cowboys made a statement to the league that they have some defensive toughness as well and can win games on that side of the ball.

I think the biggest takeaway from this game was how the Cowboys rose to the occasion and simply found a way to win. For years these were the games that Dallas would always find ways to lose. They clearly have a new culture growing and it starts with the youth of the offense. The atmosphere, intensity, and focus seem to be different this year with this team. This road game was a big one to come away with a win. Ezekiel Elliott and Dez Bryant each had their moments in this game, but it was the defensive toughness from the Cowboys that won the game.