A lot of people believe the Cowboys-Vikings matchup will be the most watched this weekend. The Vikings would be extremely disappointed with a loss, while the Cowboys could at least say they got the monkey off their backs with a loss.
The Vikings lured Brett Favre out of retirement for one thing: a Super Bowl. Anything short of that will be considered a failure, so the Vikings face a lot of pressure—and not just that—from Demarcus Ware.
The Vikings have been playing with spread formations the last six quarters of the season, and I don't think that will change. I think the Vikings will come out of the gate with some three-step drops and quick passes, hoping to neutralize the Cowboys' pass rush.
The Cowboys, I believe, will come out with a lot of tight, man-to-man coverage and jumping routes, hoping to create an early turnover or two.
From there on, I think the Cowboys will try to force the Vikings to dink and dunk their way down the field, hoping that Favre will try to force some throws as well as shortening the game.
I think there are some myths that people are really hanging their hats on, which may prove costly in this game.
1. The Vikings Have To Run the Ball To Win
No, they don't. As a matter of fact, the offense is much better off going through Favre, not Peterson.
2. The Cowboys' No. 1 Priority Will Be Stopping Peterson
Why would it be? Peterson hasn't really proven that he can be a consistent threat against good defenses this year, so Favre will be their main focus. And no, I don't think Peterson will run wild as a result of this.
3. The Vikings Are Undefeated at Home
OK, so this isn't a myth. But a lot of people are assuming that the Vikings will win because they are undefeated at home. Well, I guarantee you that fans of the Patriots—the only other undefeated team at home—thought the same thing, until Baltimore came calling.
At the end of the day, I think the only way that the Vikings lose is if they turn the ball over at least three times, and I don't see that happening. Dallas has the best defense the Vikings will see this year, and it will show to a certain extent. But the Dallas offense will have too much trouble against a Vikings defense that plays better at home.
Vikings 20, Dallas 16