Vikings-Cowboys matchup of the day: Saturday

Posted Oct. 16, 2010 @ 5:08 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

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

Cowboys offensive line vs. Vikings defensive line

Chances are, this game will be won at the point of attack. It it's going to come down to more than just individual matchups, such as Cowboys OLT Doug Free vs. Vikings DE Jared Allen. It will be a group-on-group assault, with the winner of this battle likely winning the game as well. The Vikings were all over the Cowboys, messing up their blocking schemes and harassing QB Tony Romo, in the playoff win in January. Although the Cowboys are sure to have worked extra to prevent such a meltdown again, the Vikings could have the edge here.

The Vikings' defensive line has been solid against the run for most of the season, but the pass-rushing juice simply hasn't been as electric. Allen has had a quiet season to date, and Free mostly has done a decent job of protecting Romo, minus a few slipups. If there has been a weak spot of late, it has been ORG Leonard Davis, who was benched after one of the worst games of his career. He's back in the starting lineup but will have a tough afternoon locking horns with Vikings DT Kevin Williams and friends.

Vikings DE Ray Edwards, who beat Cowboys Marc Colombo for three sacks in January, is starting to play his best ball of the season. He had a season-high seven tackles and 1½ sacks against the Jets, though he was turned around badly on Jets RB Shonn Greene's TD run. The Cowboys must slow down the pass rush with their signature lead draw, even though the play hasn't been wildly successful so far this season. Delays and draws could keep the Vikings' front from firing off the ball and playing pass predominantly.