QB Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins has been great this season and he’s gotten his fair share of praise for his performances but he also needs to get called out when he has a bad day. The game against the Cowboys was definitely that.
Cousins had a great first drive as he masterfully moved the offense down the field, resulting in a nice little looping pass to Adam Thielen for a touchdown. After that, things got really ugly. The next drive Cousins overshot a wide-open Justin Jefferson, and after that misfire threw one too high for Tyler Conklin that would’ve resulted in a first down. They were forced to punt, and after that, Cousins turned into Check Down Charlie.
Cousins threw just about every pass behind the line of scrimmage. He was favoring screens and dump-offs instead of attacking this suspect Dallas secondary. He opted to through to a double-covered CJ Ham for a two-yard loss instead of Adam Thielen who was open for a first down and potentially much more. Maybe it was the playcalling or the pressure, but Cousins became ultra-conservative and the limp offensive attack was a big reason why the Vikings lost this game.
Cousins has been great this season, but either the pressure, the big stage, or the play calling got to him in this one, or perhaps it was a mix of all three. Whatever the reason, Kirk Cousins had a very disappointing performance in a game that was very winnable for the Vikings.