This week the Cowboys hit the road again to take on the Minnesota Vikings in a rematch of the previous season’s Divisional Round game.  I had my concerns about this game, since the last meeting turned into a blowout win for Minnesota.  Once again, the Metrodome would be the setting, and that can be a tough place to play, especially for a team like the Cowboys, who were coming off another tough loss to Tennessee.

Going into the season, this game had to be viewed as a marquee matchup.  Here we had two teams that each made the playoffs the year before, and one of them, Minnesota, was this close to making the Super Bowl.  Yet both teams entered this contest 1-3.  In short, it was a must win game for both sides.

This very brief recap from Blogging the Boys just reiterates what I’ve been saying all along.  It’s so short, I’ll just go ahead and post the whole thing right here.

It was a game they absolutely had to have, and they couldn’t get it. The Dallas Cowboys lost to the Minnesota Vikings 24-21, and in all likelihood they have given away a 2010 season that was supposed to go much differently. The same old mistakes, penalties, and turnovers that lost them three of their first four game were back, and the results were much the same. A game Dallas was able to dominate for long stretches statistically ended up in defeat. There’s nothing much one can say about this team that is fit for family reading.

In short, it’s pitiful. I have no heart for more of a recap.

That’s it.  That’s the whole recap in all its glory.  The writer, Dave Halprin, says a lot without saying very much.  What else can really be said?  It’s all been rehashed in previous recaps on this blog, and elsewhere the anthem rings just as loudly.

But you want to see some highlights, don’t you?  Yeah, you know you do.

In this game, Dallas had twice as many penalty yards and twice as many turnovers as Minnesota.  That alone is enough to lose games, but more than the raw numbers, the timing of them is what really hurt.

Mike Jenkins asks, "What did I do now?"

After a Vikings turnover early in the game, Dallas took advantage by scoring a touchdown to go up 7-0.  Later in the first quarter, Romo gave it back deep in his own part of the field, and the Vikings quickly scored to tie the game.  The second, and last, turnover of the day came in a 21 all tie in the fourth quarter.  Once again, the Vikings had a short field, and they went on to kick the winning field goal a short time later.

Now for the penalties, which were just as costly.  One directly removed a touchdown off the board, as Miles Austin was called for offensive pass interference on a 69-yard touchdown pass.  The second huge penalty came with just over two minutes left in the game.  The Vikings had a 3rd down and six play coming up at their own 29-yard line.  Everyone’s favorite whipping boy Mike Jenkins is again called for a penalty, this time for pass interference.  This allowed Minnesota to run out most of the clock, as Dallas got it back with just seconds remaining inside its own five-yard line.

This all says nothing about the kick return score given up by the Cowboys, the second such big return allowed in the last two games.  All of these plays can be seen in the video above.

Dez Bryant makes a tough touchdown grab against the Vikings.

Now for the awards ceremony for outstanding play (with tongue only barely in cheek).  Actually, Dallas played a good game.  As they have done in other contests, they out-gained the Vikings, held the ball longer, and had more first downs.  The defense did a fine job as well, holding Brett Favre to 118 passing yards and keeping Adrian Peterson to 3 yards per carry.

Roy Williams scored two more touchdowns, but had only 28 receiving yards.  Sadly, this would be the last time this season he would hit paydirt.  Also, Dez Bryant made a nice grab on a second half touchdown.  Miles Austin had just two catches for 12 yards, thanks in large part to the aforementioned penalty.

All in all, the Cowboys did enough to win this game, but they did just a little more to lose it.

Record to this point:  1-4

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