Key matchups to watch in Week 8 for the Dallas Cowboys.
The Dallas Cowboys are riding a five-game win streak, and coming out of their bye week they hope to pick up where they left off in Week 8 against the Minnesota Vikings. In order to keep that win streak alive they are going to have to overcome an opponent that is trying to get their season on the right track after some recent success.
The Vikings may be 3-3 right now coming out of their own bye week, but despite what the record may suggest this is a talented enough team to hand the Cowboys their second loss on the season. With homefield advantage and a talented roster, Minnesota isn’t a team to take likely this week.
The last time these two teams of squared off the outcome of the game was decided by less than a touchdown. It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility to see yet another close game between these two ball clubs. The team that comes out on top this time around will likely be decided by a handful of key matchups.
Cowboys defense vs. Dalvin Cook
Dalvin Cook has been a real problem for the Dallas Cowboys over the past few years. In 2019 he rushed for 97 yards and one touchdown on the ground while also adding seven receptions for 86 receiving yards through the air. In 2020, he rushed for 115 yards and one touchdown and also had five catches for 45 yards. His ability to hurt you on the ground and through the air is something the Cowboys must account for. They can’t allow him to take over the game all by himself if they want a chance to keep their winning streak alive.
Cowboys CBs & WRs vs. Vikings CBs & WRs
Pick your poison. Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb or Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson? This quartet of receivers when paired with their counterpart form some of the better WR duos in the entire league. As such, the aerial attack for both the Cowboys and Vikings will likely play a huge role in the outcome of this game. That also means each teams cornerbacks have their work cut out for them. Trevon Diggs gives the Cowboys an advantage, however, even he will need his teammates help to secure a victory.
Randy Gregory vs. Christian Darrisaw
In just his second start as a rookie, Christian Darrisaw well definitely have his hands full with a red-hot, and extremely confident, Randy Gregory. Gregory has a couple of multi-sack games under his belt this season and could be looking at making it three against the Vikings rookie left tackle. Darrisaw will likely get a little extra help to contain No. 94 like he did in his first start against the Panthers, but if left alone could be in some serious trouble. Look for Randy Gregory to be a difference maker on Halloween night.
Dalton Schultz vs. Xavier Woods
Xavier Woods, the Dallas Cowboys former free safety, may have the tough task of covering what has become one of Dak Prescott’s favorite targets in the passing game in Dalton Schultz Sunday night. He likely won’t be solely responsible of containing No. 86, but anytime he is this is a matchup that probably favors the Cowboys. Schultz’s size alone makes him a matchup nightmare for Woods or anyone else the Viking send his way. Kellen Moore would be wise to try to get the smaller Woods covering Schultz as much as possible.
We discussed all of these ideas during this week’s preview show on the Blogging The Boys YouTube Channel (where we operated under the assumption that Dak Prescott will be playing). You can watch it with our discussion, special guest appearance by Minnesota Vikings play-by-play announcer Paul Allen, film room observations, and more right here:
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