3 silver linings from the Vikings loss to the Cowboys in Week 8

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Greg Joseph
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) Greg Joseph /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Xavier Woods /

Woods balled out

The Vikings’ defense wasn’t great last Sunday night against the Cowboys. Minnesota’s corners couldn’t cover the Dallas receivers, and after Danielle Hunter went out with his injury, the Vikings didn’t have much of a pass rush.

Several Minnesota defenders also failed in key moments during the contest including Anthony Barr, Mackensie Alexander, and Cam Dantzler when they couldn’t bring Ezekiel Elliott down to force the Cowboys to kick a field at the end of the fourth quarter that would’ve sent the game into overtime.

One player who did step up and played extremely well for the Vikings was safety Xavier Woods. Woods has been quiet for the better part of the 2021 season. He hasn’t stood out in a bad way, but he hasn’t done anything overly spectacular either. Woods had his best game of the season against Dallas and it was clear he was out for revenge against his former team.

Woods accounted for two turnovers, intercepting a Cooper Rush pass, and later on in the game, he absolutely annihilated the young quarterback to force a fumble. Unfortunately, Minnesota’s offense couldn’t cash in on either one. Woods finished the game with eight total tackles and two forced turnovers.

His play alone should’ve been enough of a spark to swing the tide in the Vikings’ favor, but the ineptitude of Kirk Cousins and the vanilla play-calling of Klint Kubiak made his electrifying plays moot.