Dallas Cowboys bold predictions for a Week 11 road game against the Vikings.
This is not the year for the Dallas Cowboys. Hope sprung up coming into the year that it could be but with injuries to Dak Prescott, both starting tackles and at numerous other spots throughout the roster, the first year under head coach Mike McCarthy has been a bit of a disaster. As such, they come off their bye week and hit the road to face the Minnesota Vikings in Week 11.
Garrett Gilbert won’t be making his second start as Andy Dalton returns at quarterback. Dalton also gets a better matchup as, though the Vikings have been making a run as of late, their defense remains a point of concern. However, the door is still open for Gilbert to play while Ezekiel Elliott and the host of weapons will look to attack that.
While that may be true, the Dallas defense will have their hands full. Dalvin Cook has been the best running back in the NFL this season while the duo of Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson has been near impossible to stop. For a unit that has been quite bad, that’s not a great recipe.
So how will the Dallas Cowboys acquit themselves coming off the bye? We’re making three bold predictions for McCarthy’s club in the Week 11 matchup against the Vikings.
3. Gregory, Smith combine for 3 sacks
Not much has gone well for the Cowboys defense this season but, if you’re looking for a bright spot, look no further than the play of Aldon Smith and, more recently, Randy Gregory. With both players finding their way back onto the field after off-field issues derailed them, they’ve both performed at a high level as Smith has 5.0 sacks while Gregory, though without a sack, has been a disruptor.
Minnesota’s offensive line has been great blocking for Cook but has remained inconsistent in protecting Cousins. Expect Dallas defensive coordinator Mike Nolan to send the heat and try to get after the quarterback. Gregory and Smith will be the ones who shine, combining for at least three sacks on the day.
2. Gilbert throws for 300 yards, 3 TDs in second outing with Cowboys
The fourth quarterback to start a game for the Dallas Cowboys this season, Garrett Gilbert submitted by far the best performance of any signal-caller since Dak succumbed to injury. Playing against one of the best defenses in the NFL in Pittsburgh, Gilbert completed 21-of-38 passes for 243 yards with one score and a pick to go with three rushes for 28 yards.
Not that we’re breaking ground with this statement but the Vikings defense is not Pittsburgh. In fact, it’s much worse. Though they played decently against Detroit and Chicago, they have had numerous issues this year. With what Gilbert showed, he deserves faith and gets it with the prediction that he tops the 300-yard mark and finds the end zone three times overall.
Oh yeah, this also means Dalton will make way for Gilbert as he’s simply been more impressive in the small sample size.
1. Dallas Cowboys put up 35+ points, win a shootout over Vikings
Even if the Cowboys pass-rush is able to affect Kirk Cousins, that won’t matter for the Minnesota offense overall. They want to run the ball and Dallas has shown nothing to make you believe that they will have a chance of slowing down Dalvin Cook with any kind of regularity. Thus, the Vikings are going to put up some points.
But that doesn’t mean Dallas can’t answer. With Gilbert at the helm, this unit looked competent against the Steelers, a team that has a vastly superior defense to Minnesota’s. In fact, the Cowboys should expect to move the ball consistently and, as such, they’ll get into a shootout. And because we’re getting bold, the 2-7 iteration of America’s Team will pull out the victory.