Vikings-Cowboys matchup of the day: Thursday

Posted Oct. 14, 2010 @ 8:22 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

Here's a look at another key matchup in Sunday's Cowboys-Vikings game:

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson vs. Cowboys run defense

The Cowboys hadn't allowed a 100-yard rusher since the 2008 season until the past two weeks, when both Texans RB Arian Foster and Titans RB Chris Johnson broke the century mark. Each man was stopped cold for several short runs, but each also burst out with a few medium-to-long runs that upped his rushing total. The Cowboys often will play very good run defense on seven or eight out of every 10 rushing plays but then break down on the others.

Peterson is a master of breaking down a defense like Chinese water torture, one attempt at a time. He'll bang his head into the line for a lot of one-, two- and three-yard gains and then break out with a 30-yarder. Peterson's power and force can wear down a defense, even one as big and talented as the Cowboys', and he's just as strong running the inside zone series as he is to the outside.

Another benefit: Peterson, who has had fumbling problems in the past but none through four games this season, faces a Cowboys defense that has forced only three turnovers all year.