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Vikings name Christian Ponder starting QB for Week 9 vs. Dallas

By John Breech | CBSSports.com


Christian Ponder will make his fifth start of the season on Sunday. (USATSI)

Minnesota officially has a starting quarterback for Sunday's game in Dallas. Vikings coach Leslie Frazier announced on Friday that Christian Ponder will be Minnesota's starter against the Cowboys. It will be Ponder's second straight start and fifth start of the season.

"Christian Ponder gives us the best chance of winning," Frazier said.

Ponder is 0-4 so far this season, but the Viking have been putting points on the board when he's under center. Minnesota's scored at least 24 points in each of Ponder's four starts including a 31-30 loss to the Bears and a 31-27 loss to the Browns.

One player who will probably be happy to hear that Ponder is starting is center John Sullivan. Sullivan said earlier this week that he felt Ponder deserved to get the starting nod against the Cowboys.

"[Ponder] prepared really hard and he went out there and laid it all on the line," Sullivan said. "You know, you see that last run that he made when things were getting out of reach [a 19-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter against the Packers on Sunday] and he's still out there fighting until the end. I mean, that's not my decision. But I'd love to see him stay back there, of course."

In the Vikings 44-31 loss to the Packers on Sunday, Ponder finished 14 of 21 for 145 yards and zero touchdowns. However, Ponder did finish with 38-rushing yards, including the 19-yard touchdown run that Sullivan mentioned.

It's not clear what Ponder's start means for Josh Freeman. The Vikings signed Freeman in early October hoping he could give the team a boost at the quarterback position. Freeman missed last week's game against the Giants with a concussion, but he's healthy this week, so he may not be the quarterback boost the Vikings thought they needed.

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