McCarthy makes an intimate prime time visit – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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Coach Mike McCarthy has another top-notch, high-scoring team to take to Minnesota for a prime-time game in a noisy environment for sure, with fans angry at the prospect of a one-of-a-kind victory for the Vikings against a longtime franchise archenemy .

The Green Bay Packers? They’ll likely be watching on TV and having a relaxing weekend after playing against the NFC-leading Arizona Cardinals.

The Dallas Cowboys are, of course, under McCarthy’s direction these days. After a tough first season together, spoiled by quarterback Dak Prescott’s broken ankle and the stress of COVID-19, they thrive with a 5-1 record that dominates the overwhelming NFC East.

The Vikings (3-3) have the opportunity to keep up with an impressive offensive of their own when they clash in the NFL’s national flagship game on Sunday evening. You will have the benefit of the distracting noise of the crowd. With coach Mike Zimmer you also have a proven defensive strategist at your side.

“He always makes you work more than the norm,” said McCarthy, Minnesota 8-6 after 13 years with the Packers plus a 31-28 win for the Cowboys last season at US Bank Stadium with no spectators due to the crowd Virus.

Zimmer employed the cowboys for 13 years, including from 2000 to 2006 as a defensive coordinator. His former team has given him and his staff a lot of work over the past two weeks, with the bye giving him extra time to plan against an offensive that hits the league averaging 6.58 yards per game and 34.2 points per game leading.

Prescott’s status is uncertain as he pulled a calf strain on the touchdown pass he threw to defeat New England in overtime on October 17.

The Cowboys, with an unspoken look at their weak division, will be very careful with their assessment to ensure that he is not prone to re-injuries.

“It’s been a journey and I want to play in this final game,” said Prescott, the first Cowboys player to pass three or more touchdown passes in four consecutive games. “It’s not entirely my choice because there is a bigger picture. It’s more than just this one game.”

TRUST THE TRAINING ROOM

The ultimate decision on whether to play Prescott rests with McCarthy and Britt Brown, the team’s associate athletic trainer and director of rehabilitation. Prescott spent a lot of time with him after the broken ankle and befriended Brown as a rookie in 2016.

“Whether that gets us ready to go to the games or make the calls this week,” said Prescott, “he’s very proud of what he does and he does his job as well as anyone.”

BYE, BYE, BYE

The first training after the week off for each team was, well, like the first training after a week off.

“It was like school was a bit down for the summer,” Zimmer said of Monday’s training. “I had to hold them back somehow and tell them I wasn’t happy with where they are.”

Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory said his unit messed up alignment on Wednesday. Tight-end Dalton Schultz said it was “not a super-crispy day” as the players “kind of got rid of the rust” after the break.

“It felt like going crazy,” said Schultz, adding, “At this point in the season we can’t really afford a day like this.”

McCarthy-coached teams are 10-4 after their bye week. Rooms Vikings are 3-4.

ELIMINATE IT

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins ​​has only been sacked nine times in six games, and the team’s 3.75% rate of Sacks per pass attempt is the fifth best in the league. Cousins ​​is also fifth in the league, according to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats, with an average throw time of 2.64 seconds per attempt.

“From a game standpoint, we’re not trying to get into a position where we’re taking sacks and I think that’s probably the greatest,” said Cousins. “It will change from game to game, from game to game, but we know we are trying to avoid them and it really takes the whole group.”

BALLHAWK

Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs has a league-leading seven interceptions and is the only player since the 1970 merger with so many in the first six games alongside Pro Football Hall of Fame member Rod Woodson (1993). If Diggs picks up cousins, he’ll break the NFL record for the longest straight time with an interception at the start of the season.

“The way he plays we knew he could be special,” said Vikings Safety Xavier Woods, who has been with the Cowboys for the last four seasons. “Have I seen seven interceptions? Nobody sees that, but you know they can get the ball. He has ball skills like no one else.”

STEELE IS STILL IN

Terence Steele kicked off the week to kick off the Cowboys, despite La’el Collins having returned from a five-game ban for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Steele replaced Collins, just as he did as an undrafted rookie last year when Collins had hip replacement and missed the entire season.

Steele receives rave reviews after an off-season of getting stronger. He was pretty pushed around in 2020 when the Cowboys had other issues with offensive injuries. Collins is working on both right tackle and left guard which means he could replace Connor Williams who had a tough game against the Patriots.

“You really have to see how well Terence played,” said McCarthy. “The continuity of the offensive line is something that you always have to strive for throughout the year. But I also think that this gives us the most competitive and the greatest depth that I have had in my time here.”


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