MINNEAPOLIS - OCTOBER 17: Runningback Adrian Peterson #29 of the Minnesota Vikings carries the ball against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half at Mall of America Field on October 17, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
After the Dallas Cowboys’ performance Sunday, a 24-21 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, there should be no question as to why the team is now 1-4 and all but out of the playoff hunt. All the ingredients for underachievement were there, including mindless penalties, costly turnovers and unwatchable special teams play, which sabotaged what was an otherwise good effort from the Cowboys.
The Cowboys struck first with a touchdown from Tony Romo to Roy Williams, capping a drive that was set up when Adrian Peterson fumbled. In a turn of deja vu, the Cowboys were flagged for excessive celebration, when Miles Austin leap-frogged Williams in the end zone. From that moment, the Cowboys made a show of not celebrating excessively, exchanging simple handshakes in lieu of anything more flashy.
Unlike last week, however, the Dallas defense was able to stifle the shortened ensuing drive, preserving their seven-point lead for a while longer.
That lead disappeared after a Romo interception set Minnesota up at the Dallas fifteen yard line, and the Vikes punched it in with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Brett Favre to Greg Camarillo. The score knotted the game at seven-all, but Dallas wasn’t done.
The Cowboys ended the half with an 82-yard drive, capped with Williams’ second touchdown catch of the day to put the Cowboys back on top, 14-7. Williams would finish the game with three catches for 36 yards and two touchdowns.
The Vikings didn’t wait to tie it up in the last half.
Percy Harvin returned the opening kickoff of the second half 95 yards for a touchdown, the second long return given up by Dallas in as many weeks.
Shortly later, after Romo’s second interception of the game tilted the field position battle in Minnesota’s favor, they’d take the lead from Dallas on a one-yard run from Adrian Peterson. The touchdown capped a drive of just 49 yards. Peterson finished with 73 yards on 24 carries, and the touchdown.
Dallas tied Minnesota early in the fourth quarter on Dez Bryant’s first career receiving touchdown, but the lead proved to be short-lived. Ryan Longwell’s only field goal of the game, a 38-yarder, gave Minnesota a 24-21 victory, and sent Dallas to 1-4 on the year.
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