MINNEAPOLIS (KXAN) — The Dallas Cowboys came out of the bye week with their strongest half of the 2020 season, taking a 16-7 halftime lead over the Minnesota Vikings into the road locker room.
In the second half, Dallas withstood a Minnesota offensive surge to rally for a 31-28 win. With Minnesota leading 28-24 late in the fourth quarter, Andy Dalton crafted the game-winning drive, finding Dalton Schultz for the go-ahead touchdown with 1:37 remaining.
Minnesota’s offense jolted back to life with a dedication to Dalvin Cook and the running game in the third quarter. The Vikings scored on back-to-back drives, heavily featuring their All-Pro running back. Adam Thielen capped off each drive with short touchdown receptions from Kirk Cousins for a 21-16 Vikings lead.
Backup running back Tony Pollard boosted the Cowboys back into the lead on a 42-yard run early in the fourth quarter. The two-point conversion was also good, giving Dallas a 24-21 lead with 12:02 remaining.
Minnesota’s next possession lasted less than three minutes, ending in a 39-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to rookie Justin Jefferson to catapult the Vikings back into the lead.
Receiver CeeDee Lamb made a highlight reel-worthy touchdown catch and the Cowboys defense forced two turnovers in the first 30 minutes from U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Safety Donovan Wilson led a rejuvenated Cowboys defensive unit, creating both Vikings turnovers.
In the first half, Wilson and Demarcus Lawrence met Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins in the backfield to force a fumble sack on Minnesota’s first drive of the game. Ezekiel Elliott turned the turnover into a touchdown on a three-yard pass from Andy Dalton.
Dalton returned to action for the first time since Oct. 25 after a concussion and COVID-19 knocked him out of the action for two games. Late in the second quarter, Lamb made the spectacular touchdown grab for Dallas’ second touchdown of the game and a 13-7 lead.
In the final minutes of the half, Wilson stopped a promising Vikings drive, jarring the ball loose with a hard hit on running back Dalvin Cook. Jaylon Smith returned Cook’s fumble to the Minnesota 48-yard line. Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein knocked in a 19-yard field goal in the closing seconds of the half for the 16-7 lead.