The Vikings dropped a 23-17 decision to the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night at Mall of America Field in a game that saw the return of the Vikings to their home stadium for the first time since December 5, 2010. The contest was the third preseason game for both teams and it gave coaches and fans an extended look at starters.
The difference in the game turned out to be on special teams, where Dallas blocked a 50-yard FG attempt by Ryan Longwell and returned it for a TD. Gerald Sensabaugh got his mitts on Longwell’s kick and CB Alan Ball eventually recovered the loose ball and dashed to the endzone, giving the Cowboys a 10-7 lead early in the 2nd quarter.
From that point forward, each team found the endzone once – Dallas on a 5-yard TD run by Felix Jones and the Vikings on a 10-yard scamper from QB Joe Webb – and Dallas came away with the 6-point win. Longwell came on to convert a 44-yard FG later in the game and the Cowboys converted a pair of FGs to create the winning margin.
The Vikings actually held an advantage in most statistical categories, including total yards, first downs and third-down efficiency. But the score on special teams was enough to tip the balance.
We’ll have much more from Saturday night’s game soon, including a look at the Vikings first-team offense and injury updates on the Vikings secondary. With three preseason games now in the books, the Vikings have a 1-2 record. Their next game is the preseason finale and it takes place on Thursday night at Mall of America Field against the Houston Texans.
Tags: Joe Webb, Ryan Longwell
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