The NFC North just got a little tighter. On the same day the Packers and Bears both lost, the Vikings scored a grinding 24-21 home victory over Dallas, raising their record to 2-3 while sending the reeling Cowboys to 1-4.
To say this was a hard-fought win would be an understatement. In the first half, the Vikings offense looked just as messed up as it did in the first half against the Jets when it failed to score a single point. The difference today was a Tony Romo interception setting up the Vikings with a short field. Brett Favre was able to capitalize by throwing a 10-yard touchdown strike to Greg Camarillo.
Despite all their mistakes, the Cowboys still led 14-7 at the half, thanks to a pair of Tony Romo touchdown passes to Roy Williams - both of which came at the expense of veteran Vikings CB Lito Sheppard, who was pressed into nickel duty with Cedric Griffin and Chris Cook both injured.
Things looked bleak again for Minnesota after their sad first half offensive performance. Adrian Peterson was having trouble getting started, Brett Favre was getting hit seemingly every time he dropped back and Randy Moss was a non-factor. But that all changed on the first play of the second half, when Percy Harvin ran back the kick-off 95 yards to tie the game at 14.
Dallas would come back to tie it when Dez Bryant burned – you guessed it – Lito Sheppard for a 31-yard touchdown. But the Vikings would quickly regain the lead, thanks again to a Tony Romo interception. E.J. Henderson picked Romo off for the second time in the game, helping set up a 38-yard field goal for Ryan Longwell. That would prove to be the game-winner, as the Vikings defense was able to stifle the Cowboys for the remainder of the contest.
It was not a pretty day numbers-wise for the Vikings. They were outgained 310-188 by Dallas, and Adrian Peterson was held to just 73 yards on 24 carries. They were able to win thanks to those two huge Romo turnovers, Percy Harvin’s special teams heroics and Dallas’s penalty problems. Brett Favre, when he wasn’t being knocked on his butt, was able to put in an efficient performance, completing 14-of-19 passes for 118 yards, 1 TD and no picks. Randy Moss ended the game with 5 catches for 55 yards.