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Vikings-Cowboys Preview: Minnesota Faces Big Challenge In Halloween Matchup

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The Minnesota Vikings (3-3) will host a win-heavy team in the Dallas Cowboys (5-1) this Sunday in a Halloween evening matchup at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Here's a game preview with what you need to know.

Vikings Coach: Dallas Is A 'Good Football Team'

In a press conference earlier this week, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said it's good to get back from the bye week and that players were excited to return to prepare for the Cowboys.

"(The Cowboys are a) good football team, doing a lot of good things offensively, defensively and special teams," Zimmer said.

Despite the tough stretch of games ahead, Zimmer says the team is focusing all their attention on the Cowboys this week.

"We have to put all of our focus and intensity into practice this week, we have to put it all into Dallas and try to play the best we can," Zimmer said.


One of the bigger storylines to watch will be the Vikings defensive pass rush, which is one of best in the league. In fact, the team is tied for the NFL lead with 21 sacks.

Getting to Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott will be of utmost importance, and his offensive line has done well, only allowing nine total sacks.

Another area to watch on the defense is the fact that it'll be the first game of the year without veteran cornerback Patrick Peterson on the field. He suffered a hamstring injury and is now on the injured reserve list.

Oh, and veteran safety Harrison Smith says he's "a little disappointed" he won't be able to celebrate Halloween.

Smith and the rest of the Vikings' defense are looking to spook the Cowboys' offense, but it'll be a tall order considering Dallas' offense leads the NFL in yards per game, yards per play and points per game.


Making it a great Sunday night primetime game is the fact that both offenses have the ability to score points -- and quickly.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is playing some of his best football this season, throwing only two interceptions, and running back Dalvin Cook continues to put up great numbers.

There's also the constant threat of play-making receivers like Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson and KJ Osborn.

The Cowboys' pass rush also has the ability to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, so the offensive line needs to be able to give Cousins time to throw the ball.

Additionally, Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs -- younger brother to former Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs -- is a ballhawk and has notched a whopping seven interceptions this season.

CBS Sports' Pete Prisco Predicts Vikings Win

In his week 8 picks, Pete Prisco predicts that the Vikings will upset the Cowboys 28-27.

"​​The Vikings have played solid football the past two games, but this is a big step up in competition. Look for a lot of points in this one, but I will go with a home-team upset," Prisco wrote.

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