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Vikings’ glaring weakness exposed in blowout loss to Cowboys

Carmen Vitali

NFC North Reporter

Through the first 10 weeks of the season, the Minnesota Vikings cruised to an 8-1 record behind one of the most complete teams the franchise has seen in recent memory. Armed with a fresh new regime that was well-suited to the Vikings’ personnel and a few schedule breaks that went their way, it seemed to be smooth sailing on the Nordic seas.

Until they (literally) ran into a Dallas Cowboys team with everything to prove.

The Vikings suffered an absolute drubbing at home, falling to the Cowboys 40-3 in the largest road win in Dallas history. And if that isn’t bad enough, the Cowboys exposed what seems to be Minnesota’s one glaring weakness: a lack of depth.

The most stark example came when Vikings left tackle Christian Darrisaw went out with a head injury in the first half. Darrisaw had come into the game as PFF’s highest-graded lineman this season, with an 89.8 overall grade. It was a large step forward even from a standout rookie showing, when he tallied an overall offensive grade of 71.9 in 2021. Darrisaw hadn’t allowed a sack all season, in fact. He’d given up just three hits, seven hurries and only 10 total pressures to boot. He was also coming off his third straight game with a run-blocking grade of over 90.

But that streak of no sacks changed in this game, when Darrisaw allowed one of the seven takedowns of quarterback Kirk Cousins at the hands of the Cowboys. 

It also begged the question if Darrisaw should have been playing at all. The left tackle had been limited in practice this past week with a concussion. He was held out entirely on Wednesday and progressed from there, clearing protocol prior to Sunday’s matchup. His availability was much to the Vikings’ relief, given their lack of depth all along the line, not excluding the left tackle position.

Dallas pass rusher Micah Parsons beat Darrisaw to Cousins on his first sack of the day. And Parsons’ second came by beating Darrisaw’s replacement, Blake Brandel. It came…

Source link : https://www.foxsports.com/stories/nfl/vikings-glaring-weakness-exposed-in-blowout-loss-to-cowboys

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Publish date : 2022-11-21 01:37:37

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