Cousins didn’t use Cook enough in the passing game
It came as no surprise that the Dallas Cowboys made limiting Dalvin Cook’s production their top priority. The running back remains the focal point despite some impressive weapons in the passing game and although he did manage 78 rushing yards, it came from 18 carries, and the Florida State product was unable to find the end-zone for good measure.
This was obviously a significant problem for the Minnesota Vikings. When Cook cannot generate exceptional numbers, it piles more pressure on Kirk Cousins to lead from the front and make things happen.
The quarterback has come through more often than not this season. But a large part of this is the improvements made by Cook in the passing game, giving Cousins a nice security blanket when things aren’t developing elsewhere.
Cousins was unable to put this to good use, missing a couple of wide-open looks in key moments where Cook was concerned. He was targeted just twice and failed to bring in a reception.
Although there were many more factors that caused the Vikings’ demise, the lack of connection between Cousins and Cook didn’t assist them in a must-win game on home soil. Hopefully, this was just a bump in the road and nothing more, but there is now a blueprint of how to thwart Minnesota’s threat for other teams to utilize.