The Cowboys turned in another solid defensive effort and cashed in a key turnover Thursday night as they held off the Vikings, 17-15.
It came down to the final seconds. The Vikings drove and scored their only touchdown of the game with 25 seconds left when Jerick McKinnon caught a pass in the flats from Sam Bradford, but the two-point conversion failed and Jason Witten recovered the ensuing kick to preserve the win.
The Cowboys trailed, 9-7, in the fourth quarter when Cowboys linebacker Kyle Wilber basically took the ball away from Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen on a punt return, and on the next play Dak Prescott threw a pass to Dez Bryant for an 8-yard touchdown that provided the winning points.
Timing was more important than consistency for the Cowboys, who have won 11 straight and improve to 11-1.
The Vikings felt Cedric Thornton should have been called for illegal hands to the face as he closed on Bradford on the two-point conversion, but the Vikings were ultimately sunk by settling for three Kai Forbath field goals and not scoring a touchdown in the first 59:35.
The touchdown was the 65th of Bryant’s career, tying him with Michael Irvin for the Cowboys’ franchise record. The Cowboys only previously led, 7-3, on a 1-yard touchdown run by Ezekiel Elliott in the second quarter following a 56-yard pass from Prescott to Bryant.
Each team turned the ball over once, and the difference ended up being the Cowboys getting a touchdown out of theirs. The Cowboys won despite converting 1-of-9 third-down chances, being outgained, 318-264, and racking up 10 penalties for 78 yards.
Elliott finished with 86 rushing yards on 20 carries.
The Vikings have lost six of seven. They’re 6-6 and are left to root against both the Lions and the Packers in the NFC North race.