The Cowboys climbed back into the NFC East “race” — which has turned into a “race” of tortoises — with a 31-28 victory over the Vikings.
The Eagles lead the NFC East with a 3-6-1 record. The other three teams are 3-7. Dallas plays Washington on Thanksgiving Day.
The Vikings saw their three-game winning streak end, and, now at 4-6, face an even steeper climb to a playoff berth.
Andy Dalton found tight end Dalton Schultz wide open for a 2-yard touchdown with 1:37 remaining to cap an 11-play, 61-yard scoring drive. It was the Cowboys’ first victory since Dak Prescott‘s season-ending injury in Week 5.
The Cowboys had scored only 41 points during their four-game losing streak. They gained 378 yards, including 182 rushing, and scored 31 points in Dalton’s return. Dalton missed one game with a concussion and another with COVID-19.
Dalton went 22-of-32 for 203 yards with three touchdowns and an interception in his first win with Dallas.
Ezekiel Elliott had his first 100-yard game, going for 103 yards on 21 carries. He caught a 6-yard touchdown pass, making two catches for 11 yards. Tony Pollard had a 42-yard touchdown run and gained 60 rushing yards on five carries.
Rookie CeeDee Lamb made one of the catches of the season, stretching out for a spectacular 4-yard score.
Dalvin Cook, the league’s leading rusher, gained 115 yards and scored a touchdown on 27 carries. Adam Thielen caught eight passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns, his 10th and 11th touchdowns this season. His first was a highlight reel one-handed grab.
It was not enough.
Cook and Cousins both lost fumbles that were forced by Donovan Wilson.
The Vikings got the ball back on their own 25 with 1:37 remaining, but gained only 4 yards before three consecutive incompletions ended their comeback chance.