Cowboys hold on against Vikings for 11th straight win

MIke Zimmer

It took the Cowboys one play to take the lead for good, with Prescott and Dez Bryant connecting on an 8-yard touchdown.

Rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott was bottled up by Minnesota's defense until a 30-yard run set up a 39-yard field goal by Dan Bailey with 4:20 left.

The 11-1 Dallas Cowboys now have a chance to clinch a playoff spot this weekend, if either the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the Washington Redskins lose on Sunday. He completed 32-of-45 passes on the night for 247 yards and a touchdown. Zimmer is having emergency eye surgery, about a month after he had an initial procedure to fix a torn retina.

Priefer is in his 15th season as an National Football League coach, his sixth as Vikings special teams coordinator. The Cowboys come into the game with the best record in the National Football League and riding a franchise record 10 game winning streak.

Spielman would not say whether there is potential for Zimmer to miss multiple games.

Kai Forbath connected on three field goals for Minnesota, which lost for the sixth time in seven games.

Against the Minnesota Vikings, Bryant added 84 yards which included a 56-yard catch to take the Cowboys to within 10 yards of the end zone.

Turnover! Dallas was stifled by a holding call and ended up punting, but Vince Mayle wrapped up Thielen and Kyle Wilber knocked the ball loose and recovered it himself inside the 10-yard line. The Lions play the Saints (5-6) in New Orleans this week, and then host the lowly Chicago Bears (2-9) in Week 14.

If the Vikings are to get any sort of rhythm going on offense, they will need to attempt a deep shot to start the game.

Unfortunately, yet another mistake from the offensive line and a missed call sealed the deal for the Cowboys.

The Vikings acquired Bradford to replace Bridgewater, giving up a first-round draft pick to the Eagles to get him.

Whitehead was hit from behind by Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen and Eric Kendricks scooped up the fumble. While the teams combined for 18 penalties, he thought there were key moments that the refs kept their flags in their pocket on flagrant penalties, including the game-ending play on a two-point conversion when Sam Bradford was struck in the head. The Vikings will again struggle on offense and it'll result in another close, painful loss for the team.

The Vikings' final drive was much like their losing skid, teasing fans until the bitter end.

Dallas just needed a couple of big plays to take over. Priefer credited the assistant coaches in the box above the field for watching the replay and encouraging him to throw the red flag. The seventh-year pro now has at least 72 yards receiving in the last four games, and has four touchdowns over that span as well.

Elliott punched it in from there for his 12th rushing score of the year.

NOTES: WR Stefon Diggs (knee) and CB Terence Newman (neck) each returned for Minnesota after missing last week's loss.

The way the game flowed, Priefer didn't face any more critical decisions than that, but his most fateful choice was a personnel move with standout punt returner Marcus Sherels missing because of a rib injury.

"We were able to execute our game plan perfectly", Cowboys safety Barry Church said. For the fifth-straight game, the rookie passer did not throw and interception.

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