Flashback Friday: Vikings feast on Cowboys in 1998

Randy Moss put on a show for the Minnesota Vikings during their demolishing of the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving in 1998.

On Sunday night, the 6-3 Minnesota Vikings will travel to Dallas to take on the 5-3 Cowboys. The Vikings are coming off a tough loss last week on the road to the Kansas City Chiefs, while the Cowboys have won their past two games.

Minnesota and Dallas have met 30 times since 1961, with the Cowboys coming out on top in 16 of these matchups.

One game against Dallas that Vikings fans should remember quite vividly came on Thanksgiving of 1998. Minnesota’s fans were really in for a treat during this one, not just with all the eating but also getting to watch rookie receiver Randy Moss and the Vikings’ offense exploding.

Minnesota ended up coming out with a 46-36 win over the Cowboys in this game, scoring 21 of their points in the first quarter. The victory improved the Vikings’ record to 11-1 on the season.

Moss only had three catches, but they all went for touchdowns (two in the first quarter) and he still ended the day with 163 receiving yards. He was then able to feast again after the game, but with the six-legged turkey.

Fellow Minnesota wide receiver Cris Carter had seven receptions for 135 yards and a touchdown. Vikings quarterback Randall Cunningham went 17-for-35 for 359 yards, four touchdowns, and an interception while running back Leroy Hoard chipped in with a pair of rushing touchdowns.

For Dallas, quarterback Troy Aikman went 34-for-57 for 455 yards (career high) and a touchdown. Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith rushed for three touchdowns. Dallas receiver Michael Irvin finished the matchup with 10 catches for 137 yards and Patrick Jeffers added three receptions for 92 yards and a touchdown.

Moss had many spectacular moments in his 14-year Hall of Fame career, but what he was able to do during this game was definitely one of his best without a doubt.

During his time with Minnesota, Moss was 6-0 against the Cowboys (8-0 overall). Dallas had the opportunity to draft him in 1998, but they made the choice not to and it was clearly a big mistake. So to thank them, Moss just made them pay over the years for not doing so.

Fast forward to this Sunday’s showdown against the Cowboys, a loss for the Vikings would not end their chances at a chance for the NFC North title, but it would definitely make things tougher. It could very well take a 12-4 record to win the division this year, 11-5 possibly.

With only seven games remaining, each matchup is very critical for Minnesota. They are still a game behind the Green Bay Packers for the top of the division and the Vikings cannot afford many more losses.

Minnesota still has a very good shot at the playoffs. But if they want the NFC North, they might need to win six of their final seven games this season. Accomplishing this will begin on Sunda night when they attempt to get a victory over Dallas.