Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings Matchup Preview (10/31/21): Betting Odds, Depth Charts, Live Stream (Watch Online)

Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings Matchup Preview (10/31/21)

The NFL is treating us to a spooky matchup between two of the NFC’s best teams on Halloween night, and I’m very excited to watch these powerhouses face off. Dak Prescott and Kirk Cousins are two of the most productive quarterbacks in the NFL right now,, and they are supported by loads of skill-position talent. Meanwhile, both defenses are vulnerable, so there should be plenty of fireworks in this game. Let’s dive into the matchup.

Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings Betting Odds

The Trends

  • Cowboys are 6-0 ATS this season and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games
  • Vikings are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 home games
  • Underdog is 4-0 ATS in the last 4 games between these teams
  • Over is 4-0 in the Cowboys’ last 4 games overall
  • Over is 5-0 in the Vikings’ last 5 games after a bye week

The Pick

This game is taking place in Minnesota, but that home-field advantage isn’t enough to help the Vikings overcome what I see as a significant talent gap between them and the Cowboys. Dak Prescott has shown no signs of lasting impact from his gruesome injury from last season, and Dallas’s offensive line is back to being one of the best in the league after a down year due to injuries. Behind that elite offensive line, Prescott will have plenty of time to stand in the pocket and make plays against a susceptible Minnesota secondary. The Dallas defense may not be elite, but it’s a playmaking unit that will do enough to help the Cowboys cover. It’s also hard not to love the over in this game with these two high-flying offenses facing off, even though it’s one of the highest totals of the week.

My predictions: Cowboys win 31-27, Cowboys cover, over 55 points

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TV Schedule

Date: Sunday, October 31
Time: 5:20 PM ET
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium – Minneapolis, MN
TV Coverage: NBC

Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings Live Stream

Where can you watch Cowboys vs. Minnesota online? You can stream this game and many other NFL games live online with Hulu. Hulu has a 7 Day free trial and is cheaper than cable options at $5.99/month. Watch Cowboys vs. Vikings Free Online Now.

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Injuries

Dallas Cowboys: QB Dak Prescott (calf) Q, WR Michael Gallup (calf) IR, DE DeMarcus Lawrence (foot) IR

Minnesota Vikings: DT Michael Pierce (elbow) Q, CB Patrick Peterson (hamstring) IR

Dallas Cowboys Analysis

The MVP race is a maddening one in the NFL right now with so many deserving candidates, but Dak Prescott is making a case that he stands above the rest with his recent play. Prescott stands just behind Kyler Murray in completion percentage with a 73.1% passing rate and has thrown for 16 touchdowns to just four interceptions in six games – that’s a 17-game pace of 44 touchdowns to 11 interceptions. Prescott ranks sixth in the NFL in passing EPA and has shown no signs of slowing down on his way to a likely spot on the MVP podium as a finalist.

Prescott isn’t doing it alone, though, and this offense has the most skill position talent in the NFL for my money. Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard both rank inside the top six in Football Outsiders’ DOVA among running backs, and their fire-and-ice combination is brutal for opposing defenses to deal with. CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper are elite playmakers at wide receiver, but if they’re held in check, Dalton Schultz, Cedrick Wilson, and Blake Jarwin can make plays. This offense is also going to get Michael Gallup back at some point soon.

The Dallas offensive line is arguably the best in the NFL, and advanced metrics agree. Football Outsiders has the Cowboys as the #1 offensive line in adjusted line yards and the #4 offensive line in pass protection. Offensive guard Zack Martin and offensive tackle Tyron Smith are arguably the best players at their respective positions. La’el Collins is back in the fold after serving a five-game suspension to start the year. NFL games are often won and lost in the trenches, and it’s hard to beat this Dallas offensive line.

The Cowboys’ defense is not one of the league’s best, but they rank 10th in the NFL in defensive DVOA. Dallas has allowed 24.3 points per game, however, the 13th-most in the NFL. Frankly, it’s difficult for this defense to stay afloat with how easily the Cowboys score at times, but that’s a good problem to have. Randy Gregory has gone from starting one game in his entire career to leading the team with four sacks. Rookie Micah Parsons has been relied upon as a pass-rusher and a traditional linebacker as he leads the team with ten QB hits and ranks third with 31 tackles. Trevon Diggs is a playmaking machine with seven interceptions in six games, two of which have gone for touchdowns.

Dallas Cowboys Depth Chart

QB: Dak Prescott
RB1: Ezekiel Elliott
RB2: Tony Pollard
WR1: CeeDee Lamb
WR2: Amari Cooper
WR3: Cedrick Wilson
TE1: Dalton Schultz
TE2: Blake Jarwin

Minnesota Vikings Analysis

Kirk Cousins is quietly having an excellent season in his third year with the Vikings as he’s completing 69.5% of his passes, the seventh-highest rate in the league, for 1,769 yards and 13 touchdowns to just two interceptions. Cousins ranks eighth in the NFL with a passer rating of 105.4 and he has unleashed some incredibly impressive deep balls throughout the season. Cousins ranks sixth in the NFL in deep-ball adjusted completion percentage (minimum 20 deep passing attempts) per PFF’s advanced metrics.

The bye week came at a great time to surely get Dalvin Cook back to 100% health, and the offense is much better when he’s healthy. Sure, Alexander Mattison is a very capable replacement, but the advanced statistics show Cook is the much better player – he has a 35.71% success rate this season compared to Mattison’s 25.76% (success rate is based on positive or negative EPA). Justin Jefferson is also having an excellent season with 41 catches for 542 yards and a touchdown in six games. Adam Thielen isn’t the same powerhouse wide receiver he used to be, but he’s still an excellent complement to Jefferson.

The Vikings’ offensive line has had an interesting season, to say the least. Minnesota has allowed just nine sacks, tied for the third-fewest in the NFL, and they rank second in adjusted sack rate allowed. However, the Vikings rank just 26th in the NFL in run-blocking per Football Outsiders’ adjusted line yards metric. Last season, the Vikings ranked first in adjusted line yards and 26th in adjusted sack rate, making for an intriguing statistical difference between the two seasons. Nonetheless, while the offensive line is far from one of the best in the NFL, it is more than good enough to support a very good offense, particularly with rookie Christian Darrisaw improving every game.

Minnesota’s defense is having a much better season after one of the worst years in Mike Zimmer’s tenure. The Vikings rank sixth in the NFL in defensive DVOA, although the more traditional metrics are not as impressive for the team. The team is particularly successful on third downs where they allow the second-lowest third-down success rate in the NFL. The Cowboys, meanwhile, rank fifth in the NFL in third-down success rate, making for a very interesting matchup in that respect. Minnesota’s biggest defensive strength is its defensive line which features Everson Griffen, Danielle Hunter, Dalvin Tomlinson, and a host of depth.

Minnesota Vikings Depth Chart

QB: Kirk Cousins
RB1: Dalvin Cook
RB2: Alexander Mattison
WR1: Justin Jefferson
WR2: Adam Thielen
WR3: K.J. Osborn
TE1: Tyler Conklin
TE2: Chris Herndon

Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings Daily Fantasy Picks

This game is going to be very interesting for either DraftKings’ Showdown or FanDuel’s single-game offerings as it has one of the highest over-unders on the week. My favorite captain for that mode is likely going to be Ezekiel Elliott as it provides you an opportunity at multiple touchdowns while not going for the obvious choices of the quarterbacks in Dak Prescott and Kirk Cousins. All of the top wide receivers are in play, but CeeDee Lamb is my favorite upside play against a beatable secondary. If you’re looking for fliers, Cedrick Wilson is a high-upside wide receiver while Tyler Conklin and Chris Herndon have touchdown upside for Minnesota. I’m not targeting either of the defenses in this game as I’m projecting a high points total, although there’s always the chance at another pick-six for Trevon Diggs.

Week 8 Matchup Previews
  • Patriots @ Falcons
  • Colts @ Bills
  • Ravens @ Bears
  • Lions @ Browns
  • Texans @ Titans
  • Vikings @ Packers
  • Dolphins @ Jets
  • Saints @ Eagles
  • Washington @ Panthers
  • 49ers @ Jaguars
  • Bengals @ Raiders
  • Cowboys @ Chiefs
  • Cardinals @ Seahawks
  • Steelers @ Chargers
  • Giants @ Buccaneers
I've been writing about sports for Lineups since the beginning of 2020 and on my own website since 2018. In May 2021, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sport management. With my educational background in the sports business and a strong knowledge of the inner workings of professional and collegiate sports, I hope to tell enthralling stories about the world of sports as it unfolds around me.

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