Vikings-Cowboys: From glitz to desperation

When the schedule came out, this Sunday's matchup between the Cowboys and Vikings looked like it could feature two of the best in the NFC. Instead, both teams are fighting to regain a measure of hope and respect with 1-3 records.

The Vikings will play host to the Cowboys on Sunday afternoon in a game that appeared to be a marquee matchup between two of the NFC's elite when the schedule came out.

The reality is that this now will be simply about two teams trying to not let their seasons slip away.

The Vikings and Cowboys are among the NFL's biggest disappointments, starting the season with 1-3 records. That puts the Vikings second-to-last in the NFC North, ahead of Detroit (1-4), and Dallas in the cellar of the NFC East.

Minnesota is coming off a 29-20 loss against the New York Jets on Monday night in the Meadowlands in which it put together one of the most feeble halves of offense in recent memory.

The Vikings were shut out in the opening 30 minutes and accumulated 51 total yards of offense. This coming from a team that has Brett Favre at quarterback, Adrian Peterson at running back and Percy Harvin and Randy Moss at wide receiver.

Granted, Moss only had three days to practice after arriving from New England, but that's no excuse for the feeble output.

The Vikings improved in the second half, but it didn't prove to be enough. The highlights included Favre's 37-yard touchdown pass to Moss and 34- and 11-yard scoring tosses to Harvin.

"I'm embarrassed we lost this football game," Favre said following the defeat. "We didn't do very much the first half. Forty or 50 yards, that's embarrassing. We still had a chance to win the football game with 40 or 50 yards. They are a good defense, but I think we're a pretty good offense."

One major issue, however, is that Favre's throwing elbow continues to give him problems. He has been dealing with tendinitis in the elbow and at times Monday grabbed the arm after making throws. He said he would be willing to sit out and end his NFL-record starting streak if it comes to that point.

While much of the focus on Favre has been on the alleged inappropriate pictures he sent via cell phone to a former employee of the Jets in 2008, the injury could become a much bigger deal if the tendinitis does not clear up.

"I don't want to play just to play," Favre said.

The Vikings got more bad news when cornerback Cedric Griffin tore his right anterior cruciate ligament in the fourth quarter against the Jets. He is out for the season.

Griffin tore his left ACL in the NFC title game last year, and he returned Sept. 26 after completing that rehab process. With Griffin sidelined, the Vikings are again going to be short-handed in the secondary as they prepare to play a Dallas offense that is ranked third in the NFL in passing.

SERIES HISTORY: 21st regular-season meeting. Series tied, 10-10. Dallas had a 24-14 victory over the Vikings in their last regular-season meeting in 2007. The Vikings routed the Cowboys 34-3 in a second-round playoff game at the Metrodome last season.


  • The Vikings signed veteran cornerback Frank Walker to a one-year contract after Cedric Griffin was lost for the season Monday night because of a torn ACL in his right knee.

    Walker, who has played seven NFL seasons, spent the last two years with Baltimore. He had not been with a team this season, although he worked out for the Saints on Tuesday.

    The Colts, Bears, Dolphins and Titans also had expressed interest in Walker. Walker's presence will give the Vikings four healthy corners for Sunday's game against Dallas.

  • Rookie Chris Cook returned to practice on a limited basis Wednesday after having arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. There is a good chance Cook will take over for Griffin at right corner when he is ready to go.

  • QB Brett Favre did not practice Wednesday because of tendinitis in his throwing elbow that has been bothering him. Favre also is listed with an ankle injury, but that is a product of the offseason surgery he had.

  • C John Sullivan missed last Monday's game against the Jets because of a calf injury, and it's not certain he will return for this game. Sullivan did not practice Wednesday. Ryan Cook started in place of Sullivan on Monday but was replaced at halftime by Jon Cooper. Look for Cooper to get the start again if Sullivan isn't ready.

  • OL Chris DeGeare (ankle) did not practice Wednesday. The rookie has yet to play in a game this season.

  • S Jamarca Sanford missed practice because of a back injury, and his status for Sunday isn't certain.

  • DE Brian Robison was limited because of an ankle injury.

  • TE Visanthe Shiancoe (hamstring) was limited in practice. He played Monday despite having suffered the injury Sept. 26 against the Lions.

  • S Madieu Williams was limited in practice because of shoulder injury.

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