Associated Press, Published November 02 2013
Dallas not backing down from APARLINGTON, Texas – Crazy as it seems, the Dallas Cowboys might actually be happy to see Adrian Peterson on Sunday.
At least Minnesota’s two-time rushing champion isn’t a quarterback.
The Cowboys slowed Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy, this year’s rushing leader, in their best defensive game of the season two weeks ago. They followed that win by allowing their fourth 400-yard passer of the season – an NFL first – and 329 yards receiving to Calvin Johnson in a loss to Detroit.
So the best news for Dallas (4-4) is that the Vikings have issues over who will hand off to Peterson when the East Texas kid raised on the Cowboys makes his first visit to their $1.2 billion stadium.
Christian Ponder is the benched starter who failed to seize on another chance at the job after Tampa Bay castoff Josh Freeman ended up with a concussion from a start against the New York Giants just two weeks after signing with the Vikings.
Coach Leslie Frazier wasn’t planning to start Matt Cassel, the only quarterback to win a game for the Vikings (1-6) this year.
Sure, Frazier sees the weakness of a Dallas defense that’s the worst in the league against the pass and on pace to obliterate the 30-year-old franchise record of 3,928 yards allowed. But he’s not really tempted to exploit it.
“I don’t think you can get away from what you do best,” he said. “Everything starts with our being able to run the ball and get Adrian on track, and everything else comes off that.”
The Cowboys held McCoy to 55 yards in a 17-3 win over the Eagles, but the Lions’ Reggie Bush had 92 yards even though the Cowboys tried to focus on him as much as they did on Johnson. Dallas gave up a franchise-record 623 yards and lost despite getting four takeaways with a turnover-free offense.
“We’re getting turnovers, we’re doing what we’re supposed to do,” said Dallas defensive tackle Jason Hatcher, the team’s sacks leader with seven. “It will all fall in place. It will work itself out.”