The Vikings wrapped up the preseason in mind-numbing fashion last night by defeating the Dallas Cowboys 23-14. The starting offense played only the first series and did nothing. The starting D also got one series, without the Williamses, E.J. Henderson or Antoine Winfield. Probably the biggest news coming out of the game was that Brooks Bollinger played well enough to save his job as the third-stringer. Also, it appears Greg Blue may have beaten out the injured Tank Williams for the fourth safety spot – but we won’t know until the final cuts are made.
The most irksome development last night was that the special teams still looked awful. We gave up a 95-yard punt return touchdown to Dallas’s Jerheme Urban, on a play that featured Artose Pinner taking out Heath Farwell and Cullen Loeffler, thereby opening up the field for Urban. I have a feeling this kind of crap is going to plague us all year like it did last – and we really can’t afford the field-position hit, not with our dink-and-dunk offense already putting so much pressure on our D to shut teams down.
The night’s lowlight was probably Billy McMullen‘s idiotic penalty for taking a swing at a Dallas player in the second quarter. Here’s what McMullen had to say about it after the game:
"I lost my cool and that’s something I very rarely do. It won’t happen anymore. Sometimes things rolls like that when you get so much emotion in the game. It was just a dumb penalty."
McMullen might not even make the team anyway. That sixth receiver spot seems like a bit of a toss-up now – it’s possible Cortez Hankton helped himself by making a couple nice special teams tackles last night; or maybe the team likes Chandler Williams enough to keep him around; or maybe it will be Martin Nance who had a decent preseason.
Now we sit around and wait for the cuts to be announced. It will be interesting to see if the team picks anyone up who gets dumped by another squad. Also, we’ll have to see if our potential practice squad players clear waivers. There’s been talk that a team like Atlanta might want to snatch Tyler Thigpen with an eye toward developing him. Given what the Falcons have at QB, it wouldn’t shock me to see Thigpen make starter by week 8.