Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens claims he has been open – there's a shock for a wide receiver – and wants the ball more, but he's well aware that the media is watching his every move. Plus, get series history and notes for the Vikings-Cowboys matchup on Sunday.
WR Terrell Owens acknowledges he is getting frustrated by his limited involvement in the offense the past three games. He caught a total of 11 passes against St. Louis, Buffalo and New England. He said he has been open and the ball has not come to him. But he said he has learned his lesson from last year and is trying to be patient. He also said he knows the television cameras are watching his every move and doesn't want to give anybody a story.
"I'm not going to give you guys anything," he said, "and there's no reason to go yapping at the coach, telling him to throw me the ball."
Don't look for the Cowboys to try to force the run against the Vikings. Minnesota has the No. 2 defense in the league against the run. They also have the worst defense in the league against the pass, allowing 288 yards per game.
Said quarterback Tony Romo: "You can try to run. But that doesn't mean you are going to get anything done."
Especially with the Cowboys running game of late. They have been held to under 100 yards the past two games.
The Cowboys have made no secret that Vikings rookie running back Adrian Peterson is who they need to stop on Sunday. Peterson leads the NFL in rushing and is coming off a franchise-record 224-yard game at Chicago.
Stopping the run is a Cowboys strength. They have not allowed a 100-yard rusher this season and they have the seventh-ranked rush defense in the league (79.7).
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I like he's from Texas. He's a fun guy to watch. You don't want to watch him running against us, but it's fun to watch. I think he'll be a great player." — Cowboys coach Wade Phillips, on Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.
DT Tank Johnson did not get any word from the Commissioner on Wednesday so it appears his eight-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal-conduct policy will not be reduced to six games.
"Oh, I don't think there's any possibility of that," Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said. "That's just me. Nobody has told me that. I would assume the guy would have to come back to practice before he could play."
DE Marcus Spears has just a half sack in Phillips' aggressive 3-4, but the coach remains pleased with Spears' play.
"He has been active," Phillips said. "He seems to be getting better and better. He's worked hard at it. He's played really hard, I think that was the first key with him — just start using your ability by playing as hard as you can play. Not that he didn't do it before, but I just think he's ... once you play for a little while and you're asked to do what we asked him to do, which is really get to the football every play, he's bought into that."
The Vikings' most memorable game against Dallas was a heart-breaking 17-14 loss on Dec. 28, 1975 in an NFC divisional playoff game at Metropolitan Stadium. The Cowboys trailed 14-10 with 1:51 remaining in the fourth quarter and the ball on their own 15-yard line. With 24 seconds left and the ball at midfield, Dallas quarterback Roger Staubach threw a ball deep downfield for Drew Pearson. Vikings cornerback Nate Wright was covering Pearson but the two came in contact and Pearson caught the ball at the Vikings' 5-yard line as Wright fell. Pearson went into the end zone. Many Vikings fans to this day still say Pearson pushed off and the play never should have counted.
Two former Vikings had big days the last time these two teams met. Quarterback Daunte Culpepper threw for 242 yards and five touchdowns, including two to Randy Moss, in a season-opening 35-17 victory on Sept. 12, 2004. Culpepper set a team record for opening-day passing touchdowns and was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week.
This will be the Vikings' first trip to Dallas since Thanksgiving Day on Nov. 23, 2000, when Minnesota beat the Cowboys, 27-15.
The teams met for the NFC championship in 1973 and 1976. The Vikings won the title in ‘73 (27-10) and the Cowboys won the title in ‘76 (23-6).
The Vikings played the Cowboys in the first game in franchise history in a preseason contest in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Aug. 5, 1961. Dallas beat the Vikings, 38-13.
Cowboys backup quarterback Brad Johnson was a ninth-round pick of the Vikings in 1992 and played nine seasons (1992-98 and 2005-06) in Minnesota. He was the Vikings' starting quarterback for much of last season.
Cowboys quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson was an eighth-round choice of the Vikings in 1981 and played 11 seasons with the franchise.
BY THE NUMBERS: 9 — The amount of times the Vikings or Cowboys represented the NFC in the Super Bowl from the 1969 season through the 1978 season.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We haven't had this kind of excitement since Randy Moss got here. I'm just sitting back and waiting to see what's next. I can't wait for the next game." — Former Vikings running back and Twin Cities-area resident Chuck Foreman, who until Sunday had held the team's single-game rushing record. Foreman rushed for 200 yards on 28 carries with two touchdowns in a 31-12 victory at Philadelphia on Oct. 24, 1976.