Cowboys aim to “take [the] wheels out” of Vikings’ running game

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As Vikings receiver Adam Thielen said after the Minnesota offense fell flat against the Bears, the passing game will have to step up on those days when the running game isn’t working. The Cowboys think that the Vikings’ passing game won’t step up, so they’re planning to shut down the running game.

“Rule No. 1 is to take their wheels out,” Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence said, via Mitchell Gladstone of the Dallas Morning News. “If they can’t run the ball, what do they have to do? We’ve got to take their leading rusher out and make them one-dimensional.”

Their leading rusher is Dalvin Cook, who has become one of the finest running backs in the league. He’s performed so well this season that even a solid day — 71 yards against the Chiefs — is regarded as a bad day.

“I played against [Cook] at Florida State, so I know he’s got juice,” Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith said, via Gladstone. “But we’re looking forward to the challenge of playing against the guy that’s leading the league in rushing.”

Cook has the most yards this year, with 894. Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey has 881, but his team has played one fewer game.

If the Cowboys can indeed put the clamps on Cook, the question becomes whether quarterback Kirk Cousins can get it done. And it’s smart for Dallas to focus on the run and to dare Cousins to beat them. He has shown a hyperawareness of the circumstances of a given game, and he seems to grip the ball a little too tightly and to think a little too much in a big spot.

As regular-season spots go, they don’t get much bigger than Week 10, in Dallas, against the Cowboys, under the lights, before an audience that will land somewhere between 25 and 30 million. And it gives Cousins his latest best chance to change the narrative that he can’t perform well when the stakes are high.

64 responses to “Cowboys aim to “take [the] wheels out” of Vikings’ running game

  1. Go for it, then they will screen pass the heck out of you. You see, Cook is dangerous in many facets. If you stop one, you have to now worry about another.

  2. The Cowboys have the additional benefit of a “vaunted” Viking defense quickly establishing a reputation for coming up small in big games, and I’d consider this a big game.

  3. Easier said then done Diggs is due for a big game if this is their gamplan expect a bunch of bootleg screen and play action Vikings 24-17

  4. Make Kirk play QB.

    This guy folds like a lawn chair when under pressure and the game is put completely on him.

    Dallas will take away Diggs. Of course the Vikings will try to establish the run game with Cook, but if they get behind and the game is on Kirk then Dallas comes away with the W.

  5. In other words, put the game in the hands of Cousins. Because we all know what his record is in big games, in prime time games, and in games against teams with winning records. These stats are all common knowledge and yet Spielman decided to spend $84 million gauranteed, makes you wonder if the Vikings should be using a Wonderlic test before hiring a GM instead of using it on potential draft picks.

  6. Winning this game can put momentum into the second half of the year. Great quarterbacks are cool under pressure and find a way to win. He’s got the talent & he has talent around him, he just needs to get it straight in his head & focus.

  7. This plan worked well for the Eagles.

    As always with the Vikings, it comes down to their olines ability or inability to block. Whoever loses the battle in the trenches will likely be in for a long day.

  8. This isn’t about Cousins, it’s about the Vikings defense. They haven’t played well in big games. They let a backup QB march up and down the field last week. They couldn’t hold the lead.

    If I had told you last week Cousins would throw 3 TD passes with no turnovers and Mahommes wasn’t starting for KC, you’d surely say Minnesota is going to win that game.

  9. This is a sneaky must-win for the Cowboys with the Patriots coming up and Dallas 0-2 in NFC non division games. I think if they get to 6-3 they probably have enough winnable games to make the playoffs. At 5-4 it would be tough.

  10. Going to be a good game. Don’t know who to pull for in this one. Of course a Viking loss is good for GB, but I just can’t bring myself to pull for Dallas.

  11. This game will be about the Vikings offensive line….if they can either hold up on giving DC room to run or give time for KC to pass the Vikings will win the game….if they can’t then it will be a long evening for the Vikings.

  12. The Chiefs and eagles did that really well. The blueprint is there, and I doubt the Vikings win many more games.

    Struggled vs the Redskins at home, lost to a high school football coach at QB.

  13. tokyosandblaster says:
    Chiefs and eagles did that really well. The blueprint is there…
    ————————-
    Not sure what blueprint you’re talking about. The Vikes spanked the Eagles 38-20 and almost beat the Chiefs on their own home field. A lot will be riding on the Vikes O-line and how well they play Sunday on the road.

  14. Makes sense. Theilen is out. And he’s the better of the two receivers. Diggs is soft. Shut down Cook and make Captain Stinkpants play quarterback. Zeke is hungry…

  15. Roger that says:
    November 9, 2019 at 2:42 pm
    tokyosandblaster says:
    Chiefs and eagles did that really well. The blueprint is there…
    ————————-
    Not sure what blueprint you’re talking about. The Vikes spanked almost beat the Chiefs on their own home field.

    ———

    So you should feel great when they “almost beat” the Cowboys this week….just like they “almost won” the SBs they played in decades ago

  16. cheeseisfattening says:
    November 9, 2019 at 2:10 pm
    I don’t know who will win this game but I can say this. Both teams will he well rested going into the game
    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    How would you know? Can you tell us if the Vikings win?

  17. Cowboys are over rated! Everybody says they are great when they beat teams like the Redskins,Giants & Dolphins! But when they play solid teams they choke big time!!!!

  18. I’d say the Vikings are a loss away from unbridled bloodshed among their OC, kickers, and any poor, innocent stuffed animals who happen to be in the vicinity.
    Scapegoats aint gonna fire themselves you know.

  19. Previous performance is an indicator of the future. I always root for a win but this likely has the Vikes peeing down their legs. National Game. On the Road. Cousins at QB. Theilen out. Against a good team. This has embarrassment written all over it.

  20. arealisticpackerfan says:
    November 9, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    I’d say the Vikings are a loss away from unbridled bloodshed

    —-

    They’re also one win away from first place since we laid a big egg in LA.
    ________

    Actually two wins, coupled with two Packer losses, but who’s really counting, right, Fake Packer Fan?

  21. arealisticpackerfan says:
    They’re also one win away from first place since we laid a big egg in LA.
    ———————–
    While the Packers certainly did lay an egg against the Chargers, a win by the Vikings along
    with a loss by the Packers would still leave the Vikings in second place based on them losing to the Packers.

  22. As. Life long Cowboys fan I would prefer Lawrence played like he should and stop running his mouth. Earn your new contract and shut up. The rest of the defense is carrying you.

  23. Actually two wins, coupled with two Packer losses, but who’s really counting, right, Fake Packer Fan?

    Actually, just one. These two teams play each other again. And I doubt we can count on the refs taking another TD off the board and saving us again.

  24. arealisticpackerfan says:
    November 9, 2019 at 7:10 pm
    Actually, just one. These two teams play each other again. And I doubt we can count on the refs taking another TD off the board and saving us again.
    ——————–
    That must be Vikings math, but in the real world we don’t position teams base on games that haven’t been played yet that you assume the Vikings will win. But I’ll admit that if we did,
    that would be a way the Vikings could finally win a Superbowl.

  25. arealisticpackerfan says:
    November 9, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    And I doubt we can count on the refs taking another TD off the board and saving us again.
    __________

    Seriously, the amount of delusional garbage never ends with you Barneys.
    While other teams hand out banners, towels and t-shirts to ticket holders on game day, the Vikings must just hand out tissues to their fan base.

  26. The Vikings are 1-2 in their division with losses to the Packers, A backup QB. Their third loss was to a non-divisional loss to a third string QB.

    Looking at their schedule, the Vikings could conceivably lose every game remaining on their schedule. Especially if the Broncos play a backup QB, seemingly something that stymies them.

  27. No doubt, if Cowboys stop Cook; the delicate genius QB will be under the real spotlight, so let’s watch as he blows a gasket and leaks all over himself, or goes off on a player or Zim if confronted by someone…I’m hopeful he implodes.
    Hey Florio, I’m as big a fan as you, And would love the Vikings to win a Super Bowl. However, I can’t stand cousins

  28. Wafflestomp says:
    November 9, 2019 at 7:31 pm

    arealisticpackerfan says:
    November 9, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    And I doubt we can count on the refs taking another TD off the board and saving us again.
    __________

    Seriously, the amount of delusional garbage never ends with you Barneys.
    While other teams hand out banners, towels and t-shirts to ticket holders on game day, the Vikings must just hand out tissues to their fan base.

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Another Zebra Rider with a short memory. How is the truth delusional? TD pass to Diggs and no flags on the field but Al Riveron calls and tells the refs to take the TD off the board. I think we all know which side is delusional.

  29. Isn’t it about that time of year where zimmer throws his OC under the bus for not running the ball enough, and then fires him?

  30. Two pretty evenly matched teams. Cook has been impressive and Zeke is Zeke. I see both teams putting up 120+ rush yards and this game comes down to two evenly matched QBs.

    I suspect Cousins reads this article (with that fragile ego), grips the ball too loosely, underthinks and the Cowboys win a higher scoring game than most expect because Cousins will lose a fumble and throw one more INT than Dak.

  31. The only way the cowpies lose is if Jerrah forgets to prepay the refs – says every delusional (that’s all of them) mini fan ever!

  32. As a lifelong Dallas fan (I saw Dandy Don throw his first interception) The Cowboys must beware of “Cousin Cousin” for he can throw downfield.

  33. It all depends if the Vikings fan refs help them out like they typically do. We’ve all seen that offensive line. Dalvin cook is a second rate back that wouldn’t have more than 20 yards per game if the refs started calling the blatant holds.

    Seriously, the refs have had a hand in every single Vikings victory this year. It’s so sad.

  34. Sure. Of course the game plan for Dallas is spelled out here. Stop the run game. Make the opponent one dimensional. Brilliant! Simply brilliant!

  35. cheeseisfattening says:
    November 9, 2019 at 2:10 pm
    I don’t know who will win this game but I can say this. Both teams will he well rested going into the game

    —————————-

    Wow, does anyone know what is real or not. Dallas played Monday nite.

  36. eaglesrguano says:
    November 10, 2019 at 11:23 am
    cheeseisfattening says:
    November 9, 2019 at 2:10 pm
    I don’t know who will win this game but I can say this. Both teams will he well rested going into the game

    —————————-

    Wow, does anyone know what is real or not. Dallas played Monday nite.
    ———-
    they’ll still be better rested than the packer team traveling out of Green Bay according to Aaron Rodgers

  37. brees4mvp says:
    November 9, 2019 at 11:52 am
    kill the legs and the body… doesn’t move very fast

    ===============

    Close. I think the actual Saints motto has been, “dive at their knees and head, and we’ll have a chance to win, or at least injure their players”.

  38. brees4mvp says:
    November 9, 2019 at 11:52 am

    kill the legs and the body… doesn’t move very fast/////

    I would expect nothing less from a bounty gate fan.

  39. tokyosandblaster says:
    November 9, 2019 at 10:28 pm

    So are the “worst in any sport” Vikings uniforms. /////

    Not as long as the packers are in the NFL. Your throwback uniforms are horrible but the latest version has a G on the helmet and mustard yellow pants. Please never discuss uniforms again.

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