5 things to know about the Vikings and Cowboys for Week 11

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Adam Thielen
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Adam Thielen /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Eric Kendricks /

Minnesota has the seventh-best defense (points allowed) since their bye week

Who saw this one coming?

The Vikings enjoyed a much-needed bye week during Week 7. Many surmised that a flurry of trades would occur because the season had become fickle. Instead, Vikings brass stayed the course.

In three games against the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions, and Chicago Bears, the Vikings defense has played significantly better. In doing so, Minnesota has logged the NFL’s seventh-best defense amid the last three weeks (18.3 points per game).

Minnesota allowed 22 points to the Packers, 20 to the Lions, and 13 to the Bears. In the previous six games, the points allowed were as follows: 43, 28, 31, 23, 27, and 40. That’s 32 points per game. A 32-to-18 dropoff is substantial and can be attributed to Mike Zimmer’s longstanding defensive prowess.

The Cowboys offense will provide a test, but most of the efficiency will be dictated by quarterback Andy Dalton, who has struggled to start the Cowboys segment of his career.