Cowboys win ugly in Minnesota for 11th straight victory

Dak Prescott had a career-low for passing yards, Jason Witten didn't have a catch, Ezekiel Elliott had his lowest rushing output since week 2, and the Dallas Cowboys had their lowest scoring game of the season.

They also won their 11th in a row.

Dallas (11-1) beat Minnesota (6-6) in an ugly game, 17-15. The Vikings had a chance to tie with 25 seconds left in the fourth quarter after scoring a touchdown, but quarterback Sam Bradford airmailed his intended receiver on the two-point conversion try.

Bradford was hit in the head as he released the ball by defensive lineman Cedric Thornton, but the referee didn't call the penalty.

Witten's streak of 130 straight games with at least one catch came to an end. But he recovered the onside kick to secure the Cowboys win.

Prescott didn't throw for many yards, but he didn't play poorly. Prescott completed 12-of-18 passes for 139 yards, a touchdown, and no interceptions. He did fumble when he was hit while starting to throw a pass; that turnover came in the third quarter and led to a field goal that gave the Vikings a 9-7 lead.

It was tough sledding for Elliott against one of the best defenses in the NFL. The rookie carried the ball 20 times for 86 yards. He scored the Cowboys' first touchdown in the second quarter to give them a 7-3 lead.

"We knew they were going to be a tough team, we knew they were good, we knew they were athletic," Elliott said on the post game show with the NFL Network. "We made a lot of mistakes -- we kind of beat ourselves. But when it came down to it, we made the plays when we needed to."

Minnesota scored first with a field goal late in the first quarter for a 3-0 lead. The Vikings added two more field goals in the third quarter to go up 9-7.

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer missed the game after having emergency eye surgery last night. Filling his role was interim head coach Mike Priefer - the special teams coach - and it was his special teams that may have lost the game. Jeff Locke punted seven times for an average of just 32 yards. Punt returner Adam Thielen fumbled late in the third quarter that gave the Cowboys their first turnover since October. On the next play, Prescott threw a quick pass to Bryant, who ran eight yards into the end zone for his 65th career touchdown, tying him with Michael Irvin for second in Cowboys team history. That gave Dallas a 14-9 lead with 10:22 to play in the fourth quarter.

In a game that ended with only 32 total points, one of the biggest plays of the game came in the second quarter. The Cowboys were backed up at their own 13-yard line, facing 3rd and 13.

Prescott escaped the pocket and looked like he was headed out of bounds before cutting back and diving across the first down marker for a 14-yard gain. Two plays later, Prescott connected with Cole Beasley for 13 yards. Two plays after that, Prescott connected on a deep pass to Dez Bryant for 56 yards to the one-yard line, setting up Elliott's touchdown. Prescott finished the game with 176 yards of total offense; 81 of them came on that drive.

Bryant had four catches for 84 yards and a touchdown.

"It's not just me. It's Zeke, it's Cole Beasley, it's Terrence Williams," Bryant told the NFL Network. "We all connected well with Dak. Dak is phenomenal, man. That guy is truly amazing. He's a true leader."

The Dallas defense had three sacks and put consistent pressure on Bradford. The Cowboys have 10 days off until their next game, Sunday December 11 at the New York Giants, who have the second-best record in the NFC at 8-3. 


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