MINNEAPOLIS – Things can change quickly in the space of seven days.
Last week, Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones used the word “disappointed” over and over after the Green Bay Packers’ overtime loss. On Sunday, after a 40-3 win over the Minnesota Vikings, Jones said he believes the Cowboys are the Super Bowl contenders.
“Resounding yes. Yes. Unequivocally,” Jones said. “I think we’ve had adversity. It’s very easy for us to have more adversity… Yeah, I think if we use the experience of what we’ve got in the season we’ll be ready for the final. But I certainly think what I’m seeing here now is a team you can go for a super Paul with him.
At 7-3, the Cowboys were two games behind the 9-1 Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East, and Dallas stifled the only other team in the conference with more wins—8-2 Vikings—with its biggest road win in team history. The New York Giants are also 7-3, but the Cowboys defeated them earlier in the season, and they’ll host New York on Thanksgiving in their first game against their division rivals.
“I also thought this match would tell us who we are,” Jones said. “I don’t know that we are. I really don’t. But I do know this, that we’re not a team that doesn’t respond when it’s injured. Everyone thought against the Packers who underestimated us, and I think you saw what happened when we came out here tonight and all the team pulled together. We’re going to build who is this. “
The last time the Cowboys had such a stunning road victory was in 1995, defeating the Giants 35-0 in the season opener. These Cowboys would go on to win the Super Bowl. In 1971, the Cowboys beat the Eagles 42-7 in Philadelphia and would go on to win the Super Bowl.
“This week has been a statement week,” said linebacker Micah Parsons, who had two of the Cowboys’ seven sacks on Sunday. “It says what we are capable of when we set our minds to it.”
The Cowboys will get help on the way with Pro Bowl left hand Tyron Smith in December. He is about to return to training from a torn hamstring at boot camp that required surgery.
Jones also confirmed that free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The Cowboys will visit after the Giants game, though Jones didn’t have an exact date. The Cowboys over the past few weeks have flirted with Beckham, who is rehabbing from a torn ACL he suffered in the Super Bowl while with the Los Angeles Rams.
Jones won’t get into what he wants to see from Beckham besides his health.
“Sure, it’s time for us to sit down and visit,” Jones said.
Sunday’s win against the Vikings couldn’t be the Cowboys’ best recruiting video.
Dak Prescott completed 88% of his passes (22 of 25), which was the third best in team history. Tony Pollard became the first Cowboys running back with 100 yards and 50 rushing yards in the same game since Emmitt Smith in 1993. Pollard and Ezequiel Elliott became the first pair of Cowboys running backs with two touchdowns in the same game since 1980 (Tony Durst, Robert Newhouse ).
The Dallas defense had seven sacks, the most in a single game since 2008, and ended the Vikings’ 92-game streak with a touchdown, which was the longest in the league.
“We had a good week. I think it’s always rewarding as a football team when your style matches your performance,” said Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy. “We wanted to come here and play a full game. We did. We had all the respect for those guys. They were so productive in the movie, and we knew we needed to play at a high level today – and we did.”
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