Cowboys vs. Vikings: How to watch, live stream 'Thursday Night Football' on Twitter
Can the Vikings stop the Cowboys' 10-game winning streak?
The Vikings (6-5) host the Cowboys (10-1) on "Thursday Night Football" in a game that is of the must-win variety for Minnesota, a team that's currently eighth in the six-team NFC playoff race. Dallas, meanwhile, is in the driver's seat; in addition to having the league's best record, it's also the conference's No. 1 seed, which guarantees a first-round bye and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.
Not that he needs it, based on his 11-game body of work, but that's one more advantage for rookie quarterback Dak Prescott, who essentially came out of nowhere to supplant Tony Romo as the Cowboys' face of the franchise.
Prescott has not only been a capable replacement for Romo, he's played at such a high level that Romo convened a press conference earlier this month to concede the job. Consider this: In 2013 and 2014, Romo's last two full seasons, he ranked third and 10th in Football Outsiders' value-per-play metric. Prescott is currently No. 2 behind only Tom Brady.
Over those same two years, Pro Football Focus graded Romo as the 13th- and seventh-best quarterback. They rank Prescott No. 7 this season. That's not to say Romo wouldn't be his usually efficient self had he stayed healthy, but it does shine a light on just how amazing Prescott has been in his place.
Skeptics could point out that Prescott has the luxury of sharing the backfield with rookie Ezekiel Elliott, currently the NFL's best running back, according to Football Outsiders, Pro Football Focus, and anyone with just a passing interest in football.
And the hyper-skeptical might also note that both Prescott and Elliott enjoy playing behind the league's best offensive line. We won't argue that, but that's the same offensive line that couldn't save the 2015 team from the backfield of Weeden, Cassel and Darren McFadden. At some point, you have to acknowledge that Prescott and Elliott are a big part of the 180 in Dallas.
The Vikings, meanwhile, might be just 1-5 since their 5-0 start, but they're also a team in the playoff hunt, which makes them dangerous this time of year. Their offense continues to lack anything resembling a downfield passing attack, which is good news for an average Cowboys defense, though Sam Bradford has designs on changing that following a Thanksgiving Day loss to the Lions. He finished 31 of 37, but only threw for 224 yards, which works out to 6.1 yards per attempt.
"I think schematically, that was just kind of how we decided to attack [the Lions]," Bradford said this week. "But I think after last week, we realized that we've got to be a little more balanced in how we go out there and do that."
Bradford ranks fourth in Pro Football Focus' deep-passing stat, completing 57 percent of his attempts with a passer rating of 135.4. Unfortunately, it's not all unicorns and rainbows. Via ESPN.com's Ben Goessling: "According to ESPN Stats & Information, only 18.2 percent of opponents' passing attempts have traveled 15 yards or more this season against the Cowboys, which is the 10th-fewest in the league."
"I think every team presents the opportunities to go downfield," Bradford continued. "I think you look at Washington and what they were able to do in the game last week. They hit them for quite a few big plays, so I think it's just a matter of getting the right plays dialed up at the right time against the right coverages."
Sounds good in theory. Whether Bradford can translate that into points is another matter entirely.
How to watch
- What: Dallas Cowboys vs. Minnesota Vikings
- When: Thursday, Dec. 1, 8:25 p.m. ET
- Where: U.S. Bank Stadium
- TV: NFL Network, NBC
- Play-by-play: Al Michaels
- Color analyst: Cris Collinsworth
- Sideline reporter: Heather Cox
- Streaming: Verizon NFL Mobile app
- Sunday Ticket: DirecTV
- Online: NFL Game Pass (available to watch online after midnight)
- Latest odds: The Cowboys are currently 4.0-point favorites according to Bovada
- SportsLine: Cowboys are minus 3.0
It's Color Rush Thursday, y'all (again)!
Both teams played last Thursday, so they will be rested. The Vikings have lost five of six, while the Cowboys have won 10 straight. This will be a tough one to get 11. I think the Vikings, who are playoff desperate, slow the run game and pull off the upset.
Prisco's pick: Vikings 20, Cowboys 17
You can watch 'TNF' on Twitter
Thursday's game will be on Twitter and you'll be able to stream it -- and three subsequent "TNF" games at tnf.twitter.com.
You can use your mobile device or tablet with the NFL Network app. Kickoff is at 8:25 p.m. ET.
In addition to live streaming, the NFL-Twitter partnership also includes in-game highlights from "Thursday Night Football" and pre-game Periscope broadcasts from players and teams.
Here's the remaining NFL-Twitter TNF schedule:
- Week 13, Dec. 1: Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings
- Week 14, Dec. 8: Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs
- Week 15, Dec. 15: Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks
- Week 16, Dec. 22: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
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