Moss; Culpepper Enjoyed Strong Preseason

Daunte Culpepper and Randy Moss, two players the Cowboys will have to contain in Sunday's season opener, have both enjoyed strong preseasons for the Minnesota Vikings.


CB Brian Williams (knee) is on track to play nickel back against Dallas. He should regain his starting position the following week.

QB Daunte Culpepper has never looked better. He completed 76.5 percent of his passes and had a 134.4 QB rating during the preseason.

QB Gus Frerotte is rock-solid as a dependable backup. He completed 65.3 percent of his preseason passes.

WR Randy Moss is 10 pounds heavier and still able to blow past DBs. He and Daunte Culpepper hooked up for two deep TDs in three preseason games.

WR Nate Burleson is a hard-working player who beat out Marcus Robinson for the No. 2 position. Burleson won't win any dazzle points, but he runs crisp routes, gets open and catches the ball. 3.

TE Jim Kleinsasser has had a quiet summer. The Vikings have broken in No. 2 TE Jermaine Wiggins and searched for the Nos. 3-4 tight ends. But Kleinsasser remains the best blocking tight end in the NFL and an evolving pass catcher.

PK Brett Conway made all three of his extra points in the preseason finale. He'll kick against a live rush in practice Wednesday for the first time since kicking for the Giants and Browns last season.

DT Kevin Williams should make the Pro Bowl this season. There's weight-room big (like Chris Hovan is) and there is big big, like Williams is. He's just bigger and stronger than most of the offensive linemen he faces.

LB E.J. Henderson might be a year or more from Pro Bowl consideration. But there's no doubt the Vikings have inserted a hard-hitting player with a nasty attitude in the middle. He's also significantly faster and quicker than the previous starter, Greg Biekert, who retired.

DE Kenechi Udeze has shown no signs of his old shoulder injury. That's the one that dropped him from the top 10 players in the draft to the Vikings at No. 20. In fact, one of his team-leading two sacks in the preseason came when he reached out with his right arm, which his attached to the shoulder that bothered him last season at USC, and pulled down a QB.

K Morten Andersen has signed with Minnesota, who cut Brett Conway. Conway, signed last week, was expected to open the season for the Vikings after coach Mike Tice specifically said on Monday the team would not sign Andersen because of his inability to handle kickoff duties.

OT Bryant McKinnie (knee) returned to practice and will start Sunday.

RB Moe Williams will start against Dallas. He's a veteran who makes minimal mistakes, is excellent at pass protection and normally serves as the third-down and short-yardage back.

RB Onterrio Smith will get the bulk of the carries against Dallas. Smith, who is awaiting a decision on his appeal of a four-game league suspension, is strong enough and young enough to carry the load.

WR Marcus Robinson has been a disappointment since signing as a free agent from Baltimore. A mild hamstring strain knocked him out of all but the preseason opener. He's ready to play, and has a lot to prove.

S Deandre' Eiland was released by the Vikings.

S Omare Lowe was claimed on waivers from the Jets.

RB Michael Bennett (knee) is out for the opener and might not return until Week 3 against Chicago.

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