Cowboys vs Vikings Same Game Parlay: 3 Legs on Dalton Schultz, Dak Prescott, More
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images. Pictured: Cowboys TE Dalton Schultz
The Vikings are fresh off a miracle comeback win in overtime against the Bills that included the catch of the year and a Josh Allen fumble on his own one-yard line. Dallas, meanwhile, fell in overtime to the lowly Packers after blowing a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Minnesota continues to make an improbable run and is tied for the best record in football while Dallas looks to claw its way to the top of the NFC East. Which team has the edge here?
Let’s look at a same-game parlay for Sunday’s highly-anticipated bout:
The Cowboys are favorites…on the road…against a one-loss Minnesota team…after losing to the Packers? Yes, and for good reason.
Though talented, the Vikings have been very fortunate this season. We can go on about the Buffalo game, but Minnesota has won seven straight one-score games. Every coin flip has gone their way, and now they draw an undervalued Cowboys team in a perfect bounce-back spot.
The big edge in this matchup comes in the passing game where the Vikings rank 21st in Pass Blocking to Dallas’ No. 1 Pass Rush, per PFF. Kirk Cousins will be rushed early and often, and his best receiver, Justin Jefferson, enters after a full week of limited practices due to a toe injury.
While Jefferson should be a full go on Sunday, the injury could lead to a slight dip in production. And even at full health, Dallas ranks sixth in Pass Coverage.
The Cowboys’ vulnerability is through the ground game, where they rank 26th in Rush Defense. Dalvin Cook should find success, but there’s only so much he can do to change the game — especially if the Vikings find themselves in a trailing game script, which I expect.
This is just the perfect let-down spot for Minnesota. The Vikings enter off two emotional road wins and return home to face a Cowboys team fresh off a stinging loss. The public perception has turned a bit on the Cowboys while the Vikings continue to ride this unsustainable high of success.
In a pros vs Joes game, back the Cowboys–don’t overthink it.
Over 39.5 Receiving Yards
Dak Prescott’s safety valve has returned to full health, as Dalton Schultz logged his highest Snap Percentage and Route Run Rate since Week 4.
Now, Schultz gets a perfect matchup against a Vikings defense that often runs zone. Per our own Sean Koerner, Schultz averages 1.84 yards per route run against zone coverage. That number drops to 0.65 YPRR against man-to-man defense.
The Vikings? They run zone at the second-highest rate in the NFL.
Even with Schultz being limited at times over the last few weeks, he still managed to eclipse this number in all three games since returning from injury. He was targeted 6.7 times per game in that span.
While Prescott is under center, Schultz averages a 21.8 percent target share, and in what should be a high-scoring game, he should see plenty of work in the middle of the field.
Back the Cowboys tight end who is trending up and finally back at full health.
250+ Passing Yards
Dak Prescott is finally finding his groove. After hurting himself in the season opener, Prescott has slowly gotten back to normal.
Last week, he threw for 265 yards against the Packers defense that ranks among the top 10 in PFF Coverage. Now he draws a Vikings team that sits at 22nd.
Minnesota is great at limiting the run. Over the last five games, the Vikings are second in DVOA against the rush, per Football Outsiders. Ezekiel Elliott returns but also provides a huge boost to Prescott in the passing game.
Elliott is arguably the best pass-blocking running back in the NFL and should give Prescott a bit of extra time in the pocket. I’ve already talked about Schultz’s success against zone defense, which should provide help underneath and give the Cowboys a safety blanket to keep drives alive.
Opposing quarterbacks are averaging about 280 passing yards per game against the Vikings, and in what should be a high-scoring bout, Prescott will find himself dropping back to pass over 40 times once again.
Prescott has thrown for 250 passing yards in back-to-back games, and that’s with Tony Pollard rushing for 131 yards and three touchdowns against Chicago.
The Cowboys won’t replicate that success against a strong Vikings front seven, but Prescott should have no issue going over this number for a third straight week.
The Parlay (428)
- Cowboys ML (-126)
- Dalton Schultz Over 39.5 Receiving Yards (-110)
- Dak Prescott 250+ Passing Yards (-128)