Sunday Night Football: Without Dak Prescott, Cowboys and Cooper Rush stun Vikings 20-16

Dallas Cowboys v Minnesota Vikings
Getty Images

When the Cowboys elected to start Cooper Rush over an injured Dak Prescott, it seemed as if the Vikings were headed for a victory.

But Rush had other plans.

On the day of the backup quarterback, Rush connected with receiver Amari Cooper for a game-winning touchdown with 51 seconds left in the fourth quarter, leading Dallas to a 20-16 victory.

The Cowboys got in position to do it after Cooper caught a pair of passes to put the club in scoring territory. On second-and-10 from Dallas’ 25, Cooper made a juggling catch down the right sideline for a 33-yard gain. Then Cooper caught an 18-yard pass to the Minnesota 24.

But it was running back Ezekiel Elliott who made the touchdown possible. After the Vikings were flagged for a delay of game penalty for calling two timeouts before the same play, the Cowboys had third-and-11 from Minnesota’s 20. Elliott caught a short pass and broke multiple tackles for a 15-yard gain.

On the next play, Rush fired a fade to Cooper on the left, and the receiver reached up and came down with it for a touchdown.

Without any timeouts, the Vikings had a shot to answer by getting the ball back with 51 seconds. But quarterback Kirk Cousins fired an incomplete pass out of bounds on fourth-and-6 as he was getting hit by edge rusher Randy Gregory.

Cousins finished the game 23-of-35 passing for 184 yards with a touchdown. The Vikings were 1-of-13 on third down in the contest, gaining just 278 total yards.

Rush, however, was 24-of-40 for 325 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Cooper finished with eight catches for 122 yards and a TD, CeeDee Lamb had six catches for 112 yards, and Cedrick Wilson had three catches for 84 yards — including a 73-yard touchdown early in the third quarter.

It seemed like Prescott was unlikely to play for most of the week, but it wasn’t official until he was declared inactive 90 minutes before the game.

That the Cowboys were able to steal a win with their backup quarterback says something about the strength of their team as a whole. At 6-1, they’ve basically wrapped up the NFC East — barring something completely unforeseen.

Next week, they’ll be at home to face the 4-4 Broncos, perhaps with Prescott.

Now at 3-4, the Vikings will go on the road to play the Ravens in Week Nine.

68 responses to “Sunday Night Football: Without Dak Prescott, Cowboys and Cooper Rush stun Vikings 20-16

  1. So that probably ends MIN season. Really bad they couldn’t beat DAL. Shouldn’t be looking for help from them.

    Hopefully they can keep fooling their fans into thinking they’re soooo close.

  2. It’s always a good week in the NFC North when the Packers win and everyone else loses.

    Especially when the Vikings lose to a backup QB. At home. With the refs on their side.

  3. Ouch!
    Brutal to lose at home to a backup. I wonder what ariani will have to say about this? I thought the Vikes had a chance to come out on top against a team with a winning record, even if it came with an asterisk, but anyway…
    Keep Zimmer!

  4. Viking should be very embarrassed to lose this game. Cousins looked exactly like I remember him….underwhelming.

  5. Packers have more wins than the rest of the division combined.

    Better football for better people…

  6. I got one thing to say sports fans….How Bout Those Cowboys!!!! We are SB no question about it baby!!!

  7. Helluva game-plan by McCarthy. Helluva game by Cooper Rush. Helluva missed opportunity for the Vikings. Helluva shortcoming for the best game-manager in the NFL. Helluva hotseat for Zimmer. Helluva night.

  8. McCarthy was smart for once sitting Dak the Cowboys didn’t need him. I’m starting to think that sometime in the next two years the Cowboys will be in the NFC Title Game against the Bucs the defense is sharp now it is possible.

  9. The Cowboys defense played their best overall game this season, even without getting any turnovers and with the late penalties. That can be very good for them in December and January.

  10. This game is NOT about MIN. Dallas just proved they gave a canvas Of players that can beat an above avg team w/o their top 5 an. Defense also showed up, no chance of an argument here.

  11. Hilarious. Cousins fails over and over in crunch time. Cooper Rush, in his first NFL start, making tens of millions less than Cousins, leads the Cowboys down the field at the end of the game to beat the Vikings in MN. Even the refs tried to help Cousins tonight and he still failed.

  12. As long as Cousins is QB and Zimmer is coach a Viking’s loss shouldn’t stun anyone. The Bears and Lions are in the same rut leaving the Packers clear front runners to win the NFC North this year. With less than half the season done, anything could change down the road as we’ve all seen it happen so many times before Ask the Patriots who went undefeated during the regular season thru’ the playoffs and lost in the Super Bowl.

  13. Kellen Moore had Zeke hit the juke button on that last drive….no way he should have picked up that first down!

  14. Two timeouts before the same play. That’ll go down in the scrapbook along with twelve men in the huddle, failing to get the draft card up in time, returning a fumble for a safety… all part of the glorious lore of the Minnesota Vikings!

  15. I have no sympathy for these old fashion teams who are playing in 2021 in a QB league, yet they want to play like it’s the 1950’s and run the ball. Good luck with that. The Vikings completed 23 passes. They only throw when they absolutely have to. They act like the word pass is a dirty word. It’s just the most unimaginative play calling I’ve ever seen. I understand they don’t have a dynamic QB, but that’s all the more reason to throw on early downs. Don’t wait until they’re coming after you. And besides, why don’t they have a dynamic QB? It’s just pathetic. The Vikings look like a football business, not a football team. Their goal is not to win championships, but to make a profit. Heck, the worst business person in the world could make a profit running an NFL business (team). I feel like I just wasted 3 hours of my life. Lousy entertainment. Throw the fricking ball.

  16. The ref’s did everything they could to help the Vikings. I mean Gregory made a very clean tackle on Cousins and was flagged for roughing the passer. It was horrible call. Then two plays later they called him for pushing a guy who was on the pile. 15 more yards. Even with that help the Vikes could only muster a field goal and that was there demise.
    I read somewhere that if the Vikes miss the playoffs, Zimmer is toast and should be they gave him everything he needed to product a SB contender.

  17. Bad loss. While the Vike CBs stunk, the D played well enough without Hunter to win. This loss is on the offensive coaching staff, the O-line and Cousins checking down under pressure. Congrats to the Cowboys – Cooper and their D earned it.

  18. To say this organization is an absolute embarrassment, is an understatement. If Dak would’ve played they would’ve lost by at least 30 points. It’s just a matter of time before Jefferson and Cook start demanding trades. They waste more talent than any team in the league…A lot of Hall of Famers, but an empty trophy case, with no hope for a title run in the immediate future. Another banner night and season for our Vikings.

  19. Cousins looked awful like he had the flu or something. Vikes O line didnt protect all that well, could be a long season maybe.

  20. The best news for the rest of the division is that Kirk Cousins has a fully guaranteed cap hit next year of $45 million. And the only way out is to extend him. Again. Can’t remember the last time a QB without a track record of success has had so much leverage over a franchise, for so long. That 3 years/$84M fully guaranteed deal they inked him to back in 2018 just keeps on giving.

  21. Kirk Cousins never looks like he’s able or willing to make a play when he needs to. You got outplayed by a backup making his first NFL start. Definitely worth that $30 million

  22. The vaunted Mike Zimmer defense defeated by Cooper Rush, a $920k QB in his 4th year making his 6th NFL appearance. How do you Vike that?

  23. Lifelong Vikings fan, but this game just about ended that. Zimmer has to go. He lets a 35 year old rookie OC run the entire offense, he has the worst secondary in the NFL and he’s supposedly a secondary guru. He can’t make adjustments until it’s too late. The game has left him behind. Why do they keep Bradbury in there when he can’t block anyone over 200lbs.

  24. Dallas’ depth chart is too deep. Dak could’ve played and Tyron could’ve finished but why risk it? We cant even see the rest of the division in the rear view mirror cause they are too far behind. Dallas has built this roster the honest way. Yea we traded for Cooper but outside of that, we built this team the right way via draft and contract extending our very own. No big name free agents. No dream team free agency shopping spree like Arizona and Tampa. We have groomed our very own super team. A blind ref push off no call from being 7-0. Start taking this team seriously. The path to the Superbowl runs through the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex.

  25. yyyyikes… well, Cousins is back to his usual self. Excited to see what happens after he’s moved on.

  26. 3rd & 16 and YOU GIVE UP 5 YARDS TO USE UP A TO, Zimmer should be fired. Save the TO and have a stop with 16 yards to go. He should be fired. Lousy coach. The players are done playing for him.

  27. For the Vikings, some of the worst play calling I’ve ever seen. Since when is CJ Ham a primary passing game option?

  28. The officials and the NFL need to be investigated for altering the game when MONEY is on the line. The blatantly thrown flags on Bashum and especially TARGETTING Gregory should not be ACCEPTABLE in any professional sports league. Vikings Smith tried to rip off Lambs helmet when they were on the sideline

  29. I don’t care how many stats you show me. Kirk Cousins is so bad. Box score watchers continue to tell me how great of a season Kirk is having. Please. Just watch a game. He goes 3 and out 50%+ of his drives. He has 0 tds in the 4th quarter this year. And 5/7 of Vikings games this year, they haven’t scored a TD in the 2nd half. He’s making 30+M a year and gets out outplayed by a no name backup at home. Not to mention DALLAS has a bottom 5 pass d. Vikings should have had 30+ points this game. Like please stop defending this guy. How many more years of .500 ball do we need to see from him before people figure out he is the very definition of QB purgatory?!

  30. Zimmer will fire another offensive coordinator and all will be well. There’s always next year.

  31. But, but, but….the “vaunted” Viking defense couldn’t possibly lose at home to a backup QB, could they? It must have been the refs fault. ariani and cheeseis won’t be seen until the next Packer story.
    Take heart, Viking fans. Your team is still ahead of the Lions in the standings!

  32. tiredofcowards says:
    November 1, 2021 at 12:02 am
    Viking should be very embarrassed to lose this game. Cousins looked exactly like I remember him….underwhelming.

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    The Cowboys Defense was also pretty good….. the last play of the game Gregory was in his face. It happens and I feel your pain….. as a Cowboys fan they have done this to us for well over 20 years…LOL

  33. Another big game, another Kirk Cousins let down. I watched it for years in Washington. Seems like nothing has changed.

  34. good for Cooper Rush.

    he just earned himself a lifetime check as a backup last night. his number got called and he took care of business.

  35. I thought the Vikings were better than this , much needed win , hard to recover from this .

  36. You know, The Vikings always look like winners on paper, and their fans always predict they will win the NFC North and go to the Super Bowl. Which is fine, because all fans should be optimistic about their teams.
    But the truth is — the Vikings are nothing more than the Lions — a team which always under-achieves and leaves their fans disgusted.
    I said this a long time ago, and I will say it again. Until the Vikings understand that you must get leadership which hires a head coach who knows how to develop a young QB, they will never win anything.
    Kirk Cousins is what he is. A guy who puts up numbers but will never win a championship.
    Think about this. The best QB’s the Vikings have ever had were Fran Tarkenton and Brett Favre. Between and after those two they’ve had so many QB’s that it’s impossible to remember them all.
    I remember when the Vikings had Daunte Culpepper. Sports Illustrated ran a story which featured him on the cover and said that he was the prototypical specimen and said he was going to dominate the position for years to come. What they forgot was his best asset was being able to throw the ball deep where Randy Moss would be waiting to haul it in. Other than that, he was just a guy. Culpepper ended his career after 7 years in Minny and 4 with other teams and had 149 TD’s and 106 interceptions.
    In their 61 years of existence, the Vikings have had 39 different starting QB’s. That says volumes about who they are.
    I feel really sorry for the fans of the Lions and Vikings. They get their hearts broken every year.

  37. Zimmer should have been let go after last season. COVID or no COVID. He coaches NOT to lose. WIth the talent on both sides of the ball it is clearly on the coaching staff. Klint Kubiak is in WAY over his head.

  38. Love him or hate him you can’t deny Mike McCarthy is a quarterback guru.

    Lost in the adoration of Aaron Rodgers is McCarthy’s work, along with assistants, to work the kinks out of Rodgers delivery and execution. It’s odd then to see the role Rodgers played in McCarthy’s exit from Green Bay.

    That said, every time the Vikings, Bears and Lions lose it’s a good day in Green Bay.

  39. McCarthy was smart for once sitting Dak the Cowboys didn’t need him. I’m starting to think that sometime in the next two years the Cowboys will be in the NFC Title Game against the Bucs the defense is sharp now it is possible.
    ==========

    Neither the Bucs or Cowboys will be in this years NFC Title game.

  40. Kirk Cousins is what he is. A guy who puts up numbers but will never win a championship.
    Think about this. The best QB’s the Vikings have ever had were Fran Tarkenton and Brett Favre. Between and after those two they’ve had so many QB’s that it’s impossible to remember them all.
    ==========

    Favre was great in 2009… but was equally terrible when he came back for 2010.

    Nobody will ever forget Cunninghams amazing 1998.

    Culpepper in 2004 was the 5th best passer rating at that point. Better than Warner in ’99, and Marino in ’84. Obliterated since then, but thats pretty d@mn impressive.

    2017, Case Keenum went 11-3, with a 98 rating.. would the Vikings fortunes had been any different if they had rolled with him, at less than half the price, rather than signing Cousins?

  41. Love him or hate him you can’t deny Mike McCarthy is a quarterback guru.
    ==========

    Oh boy… where to start..

    Played a part in Alex Smith being drafted.. over Aaron Rodgers……

    Brett Favre 2006, anyone? 72 rating, 18 tds, career low 56 comp%.. with virtually the same set of skill players as 2007

    Wasn’t truly committed to Rodgers in 2008, told Favre he could compete for the job

    What did he do for Rodgers, really? Changed his release point… with Rodgers talent, it was inevitable that he would have been successful

    Claims to have totally overhauled the offense in 2018.. it was an absolute trainwreck

    And how much credit does he deserve for the Cowboys? He’s not running the offense!

    .. he did a nice job with Aaron Brooks though. I’ll give him that,

  42. So many comments with “Vikings fans this” and “Vikings fans that”. Yet, most actual Vikings fans understand this is a flawed team. The OL has been an issue for around a decade or more. The defense has some retreads in the secondary, and depth is thin or non-existent at a lot of positions.

    Add in some questionable play calling this season, and it is not surprising to see this outcome. It is almost incomprehensible how a team can consistently drive, and often score, on the first drive of the game, and then essentially just shut it down after that. If they can script an opening drive, why can they not script other drives? I understand a porous OL limits their options, but why then do they seem to have some success on opening drives?

  43. “That the Cowboys were able to steal a win with their backup quarterback says something about the strength of their team as a whole.”

    One thing it says is that you don’t need a $40 million QB to have a good football team.

  44. Did anyone notice Mike Zimmer’s hands during that game yesterday? They would show him holding his play sheets and his hands were trembling.
    I don’t know if there’s something wrong with him (I hope not) or he just knows he’s on very thin ice.

  45. I remember Vikings fans talking a lot of smack about Rodgers not having a lot of come from behind victories against +.500 teams. Did you know Kirk Cousins is like 7-31 against teams with a +.500 record?

  46. Good thing the organization extended Zimmer, Spielman AND Cousins all at the same time a few years back. Not really.

  47. The officials did everything they could to gift wrap this game for the Vikings, but our home town team just couldn’t close the deal.

  48. kcarpenter1245 says:
    November 1, 2021 at 12:07 pm
    Correction, he’s 8-39. That’s pitiful.

    ++++++++++++++++++++

    And Rodgers is .456% against winning teams, while Brady is .629%

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.