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Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings
John J. Raspanti
In what could rightly called the "Desperation Bowl" the Dallas Cowboys stagger into Minnesota to face the faltering Vikings. Both teams have identical records of 1-3. The 'Boys have been maddeningly inconsistent throughout their first 4 games. Quarterback Tony Romo is pilling up the yards and clicking with his receivers at a 68 percent completion rate. He's thrown seven touchdown passes but five interceptions with some of those picks, like last weeks, very costly. Running back Felix Jones galloped for over 100 yards last week and will start ahead of Marion Barber. Romo's favorite target is Miles Austin who has caught 31 passes for 474 yards and a couple of scores. Austin has been, unlike the Dallas team, consistent and dynamic. Roy Williams has done well at times as has rookie Dez Bryant. Romo always looks for tight end Jason Witten when he's in trouble. Statistically speaking, the Cowboys have been excellent, featuring the NFL's 2nd ranked offense (421.5 yards per game) and fourth-ranked defense (304.8 ypg). But the Cowboys have been done in by 9.5 penalties per game and a minus-4 turnover margin -- 29th in the league. On the other side of the ball, inside linebacker Bradie James is playing well while the sack master DeMarcus Ware has recorded six.
The Vikings looked like last years version in the second half against the Jets last Monday night. Scandal ridden quarterback Brett Farve threw a pretty pass to newcomer Randy Moss for a score, a play that seemed to wake up the entire team. Favre threw two more touchdown passes, but a last second interception killed the Vikings rally. Brett's completion percentage is way down this year at 56 percent. He's battling tendonitis in his throwing arm and missed quite a few receivers last week. The NFL is also investigating Favre for violating the league's personal conduct policy. The quarterback apologized last week, but the distractions have to be mounting. Running back Adrian Peterson has been focused and deadly all season, gaining 480 yards on the ground. Randy Moss looks dangerous and youngster Percy Harvin has scored three touchdowns. The Viking defense is ranked 5th in the league and are very stingy against the run. Linebackers Chad Greenway and E.J Henderson have played very well, while the once mighty Jarad Allen has only one sack this season.
These are two teams apparantly headed in the same direction.......down. Of the two, the Vikings losses were better than the Cowboys losses, if you want to look at it that way. But they sure did look terrible for most of last weeks game against the Jets.
Both teams have pathetic yards per point numbers offensively of around 21. The Cowboys are bad defensively as well with a number of 14 while the Vikings maintain a respectable 17. As one might expect from losing NFL teams, both are negative in turnover margin with the Cowboys at -4 and the Vikings at -6. The play here for us is on the home team Vikings. With the number as low as it is, we're just asking for a straight up win. Vikings -1.5
Dallas is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 11 of Dallas's last 15 games
Dallas is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Dallas's last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Dallas's last 6 games when playing Minnesota
Dallas is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games when playing Minnesota
Dallas is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games when playing Minnesota
Dallas is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Minnesota
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Dallas's last 5 games when playing on the road against Minnesota
Dallas is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Minnesota
The total has gone UNDER in 10 of Minnesota's last 14 games
Minnesota is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games
Minnesota is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Minnesota's last 8 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Minnesota's last 6 games when playing Dallas
Minnesota is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games when playing Dallas
Minnesota is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing at home against Dallas
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Minnesota's last 5 games when playing at home against Dallas