Greg Cote

Red-hot Cowboys are due for a stumble and desperate Vikings might take advantage

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford (8) passes against the Detroit Lions during an NFL football game, Thurs., Nov. 24, 2016 in Detroit.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford (8) passes against the Detroit Lions during an NFL football game, Thurs., Nov. 24, 2016 in Detroit. AP

COWBOYS (10-1) AT VIKINGS (6-5)

Line: DAL by 3.

Cote’s pick: MIN 24-20.

TV: 8:30 p.m., NBC/NFLN (airing in South Florida).

NFL Week 13 goes off on a majestic catapult with a matchup of Game of the Week heft — and with an upset! Dallas can be first team to clinch a playoff spot, but won’t. The way-hot Cowboys are plainly due a stumble, and the far-more-desperate Vikings, at home, are equipped to make it happen. Minnesota’s defense is one of the very few good enough to counter Dallas’ big offense and penetrate that excellent Cowboys O-line, and Vikes coach Mike Zimmer, the former ’Boys defensive chief, is more able than most to make that happen. Also expect a sonic-loud, bigger-than typical home field edge for the Purples, who’ll also get a needed boost on offese with the expected return of top receiver Stefon Diggs. A key will be Vikes’ banged-up offensive line giving Sam Bradford time to operate, but I believe this game will swing when Bradford is on the sideline admiring how his defense is able to neutralize dynamic super-rooks Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott. Vikes’ D will force a couple of turnovers or at least one huge one that turns the game.

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