Vikings-Cowboys game scout

Get keys to the game, fast facts, Vikings notes and series history as the Vikings prepare to play host to the Dallas Cowboys in a battle of desperate teams.

Sunday
Baltimore Ravens (4-1) at New England Patriots (3-1)
Miami Dolphins (2-2) at Green Bay Packers (3-2)
Detroit Lions (1-4) at New York Giants (3-2)
Seattle Seahawks (2-2) at Chicago Bears (4-1)
New Orleans Saints (3-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1)
Atlanta Falcons (4-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-2)
Kansas City Chiefs (3-1) at Houston Texans (3-2)
San Diego Chargers (2-3) at St. Louis Rams (2-3)
Cleveland Browns (1-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1)
New York Jets (4-1) at Denver Broncos (2-3)
Oakland Raiders (2-3) at San Francisco 49ers (0-5)
Dallas Cowboys (1-3) at Minnesota Vikings (1-3)
Indianapolis Colts (3-2) at Washington Redskins (3-2)
Monday
Tennessee Titans (3-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2)


Dallas Cowboys (1-3) at Minnesota Vikings (1-3)


KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:15 p.m. ET
GAMEDATE: 10/17/10
SURFACE: FieldTurf
TV: FOX, Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver

KEYS TO THE GAME


Vikings QB Brett Favre has his downfield weapon in WR Randy Moss, which paid immediate dividends in also allowing Percy Harvin to roam freer in the slot. But Favre also has tendinitis in his throwing elbow, which is clearly affecting the zip and accuracy on his passes. Until Favre proves he can do damage downfield, look for the Vikings to focus on RB Adrian Peterson.

The Cowboys' offense struggled with pass protection against Tennessee, but if QB Tony Romo is given time he should be effective against Minnesota's injury-depleted secondary.

FAST FACTS

Cowboys TE Jason Witten has had at least 10 catches for 85-plus yards in each of the past two meetings. ... Peterson needs 36 rushing yards to reach 5,000 in just his 51st career game.

VIKINGS

Brett Favre said this week that he would be willing to end his consecutive games streak in order to rest his sore throwing elbow if that proves to be in the Vikings' best interest.

If only it were that simple.

Favre, who turned 41 on Sunday, has started an NFL-record 289 consecutive regular-season games during his 20-year career. Tendinitis in his elbow could threaten that streak, but no one knows if Favre will be able to actually follow through with not starting.

"I think any player would have to consider that," Favre said of sitting out. "Going through that type of situation where I can (play), but will rest help? Yeah, it will be a consideration I'll take. ... I need to work on the timing obviously, but to what extent?"

That is part of Favre's issue. He skipped training camp and is trying to get on the same page as many of his wide receivers. That includes Randy Moss, who was obtained last week from New England.

Favre did not practice Wednesday but did limited throwing Thursday and is on track to start Sunday against the Cowboys in a matchup of teams that are off to surprising 1-3 starts.

Favre said his biggest issue isn't the zip on the football but the accuracy, something that was obvious at times watching him in the Vikings' 29-20 loss to the Jets on Monday night.

"There were some throws that blindfolded I felt like I could have made," Favre said. "I made some good throws but missed on some that I don't miss on. That's what I don't want to happen. ... From that standpoint, I don't want to play just to play."

  • The Vikings and Cowboys have met seven times in the playoffs: twice in NFC wild-card games, three times in the NFC divisional playoffs and twice in NFC championship games. The Vikings are 3-4 in those games.

  • WR Randy Moss had the third-best game of his career against Dallas on Nov. 26, 1998. The rookie finished with three catches for 163 yards and three touchdowns, including two 56-yard scores.

  • The Vikings have won six of the past seven games between the teams. The Cowboys took the last regular-season meeting after the Vikings had won five in a row -- the longest winning streak in series history.

  • The Vikings' first preseason game in the history of the franchise was against Dallas in Sioux Falls, S.D. The Vikings lost the game 38-13.

  • Brett Favre has thrown 30 touchdowns since turning 40 and trails only Warren Moon's 37 TDs after turning 40 years of age.

  • Randy Moss needs two catches to move into ninth place in NFL history for most career receptions. Art Monk is currently in ninth with 940 receptions.

  • Steve Hutchinson will move into a tie for third place for the most consecutive starts for a Vikings guard on Sunday. David Dixon started 69 consecutive games, and Hutchinson is one behind.

    BY THE NUMBERS: 6 – Sacks by the Vikings this season, tying them for 28th in the NFL with Buffalo and Cincinnati.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "God willing. Yeah, that'd be a tremendous plan." – Vikings coach Brad Childress, when asked if this will be the week the team's offense will start to click.


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