Vikings Do What the Eagles Could Not vs. Dallas

Written By Bob Cunningham On Sunday, January 17, 2010

Romo was abused all game long by the Vikings' defense.

Everyone knew how to stop the Dallas Cowboys, it was just a matter of finding a team who could execute the gameplan properly.

Putting pressure on Tony Romo is basically where that gameplan begins and ends, but thanks to a very good Cowboys' offensive line, that plan is easier said than done. However, for the teams that can accomplish it, it should mean a certain victory.

The Eagles were able to get a little bit of pressure on Romo in the Wild Card game after not even making him flinch in Week 17, but it wasn't enough. The Vikings, on the other hand, were able to get in Romo's face all day and force him to move around inside the pocket.

And "inside the pocket" is the most important part.

Allowing Romo to get outside of the pocket might be more dangerous than not getting any pressure on him. When he's outside of the pocket he's able to look down the field, usually with no one around him, and is also a threat to run. The threat to run then takes a half-step away from the secondary and can lead to a big play.

But the Vikings, with a huge day from Ray Edwards, were able to use their defensive ends to keep him in the pocket, then take advantage of his indecisiveness. The pass rush led to six team sacks, three by Edwards, an interception, and three Romo fumbles -- two of which were lost.

Three turnovers for Romo and six sacks crushed his confidence and had him running scared all game long, which in turn led to good field position and all the momentum for the Vikings. The Vikings offense took full advantage and abused a Cowboys defense with its back against the wall.

In other words, the Vikings did everything that I had hoped the Eagles would do, but inevitably fell short of those goals. The lack of starting-caliber talent at linebacker and the lack of a pass-rushing left defensive end were the downfalls of Birds, but is something that the Vikings clearly possess.

It would have been nice to abuse the 'Boys the way the Vikings did, but if it couldn't be our Eagles, I'm satisfied to see it was a former Eagle in Vikings' head coach Brad Childress. Childress and Andy Reid still speak quite often and keep in touch, so I'd bet that Reid asked Childress to lay it on the Cowboys.

Hence the fourth quarter touchdown pass by Brett Favre to run up the score.

Maybe I'm giving them the kiss of death, but I'm now officially supporting the Vikings to take it all the way and win one for the NFC. If you've been visiting the site for a little while you know that I'm a Favre supporter, so let's win one for the gipper, Minnesota.

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