Andy Dalton threw a go-ahead touchdown pass to Dalton Schultz with 1:37 to go, and the Dallas Cowboys held on for a 31-28 win over the host Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Nov. 22 in Minneapolis.
The loss spoiled a standout performance by Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, who completed 22 of 30 passes for 314 yards and three touchdowns.
In his 100th career game as a Viking, Adam Thielen kept the league lead in receiving touchdowns and passed Vikings’ greats in the franchise record books making eight catches for 123 yards and two touchdowns.
Thielen tied Hassan Jones for playing in the eighth-most games in team history as a wide receiver, according to Vikings post-game notes.
Minnesota (4-6) lost for the first time in its past five games.
The Vikings trailed 16-7 at the half before they regrouped.
Minnesota rallied with back-to-back touchdown passes from Cousins to Thielen.
Thielen's first score, from 2 yards out, came on a remarkable one-handed catch in the back corner of the end zone. The seventh-year wideout secured the ball and tapped both feet inbounds.
The next touchdown reception was more routine. Thielen got open for an easy 3-yard catch that gave the Vikings a 21-16 advantage early in the fourth quarter.
The Cowboys answered on the next drive to regain a 24-21 edge. Pollard sprinted 42 yards to the end zone for his second rushing touchdown, and Lamb converted a two-point conversion.
Justin Jefferson put the Vikings on top 28-24 when he split a pair of Cowboys defenders and hauled in a 39-yard touchdown pass from Cousins with 9:37 remaining.
That set the stage for the Cowboys' game-winning drive within the final two minutes. Schultz brought in a 2-yard score to cap an 11-play, 61-yard drive that took 2:23 off the clock.
Thielen passed Ahmad Rashad for the sixth-most receiving touchdowns in Vikings history (36). Thielen recorded his 21st career 100-yard performance, 14th with Cousins at the helm.
Thielen’s 11 receiving touchdowns lead the NFL and are a personal record surpassing his former season-high of nine.
He is the only player in franchise history with 11 or more receiving touchdowns in the first 10 games, surpassing Randy Moss’ 10 in 2003.
Dallas opened the scoring when Dalton found Elliott for a 6-yard touchdown pass with 9:26 to go in the first quarter. The Vikings blocked the Cowboys' extra-point attempt.
Minnesota bounced back on the next possession, which culminated with a 1-yard touchdown run by Dalvin Cook. It was the running back's 13th rushing touchdown, matching his career high from 2019.
The back-and-forth start continued as the Cowboys grabbed a 13-7 lead with 4:55 left in the second quarter. Rookie CeeDee Lamb provided a highlight-reel catch while twisting and falling backward for a 4-yard score.
A 19-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein increased the Cowboys' lead to 16-7 before halftime.
Dalton completed 22 of 32 passes for 203 yards, three touchdowns and one interception for Dallas (3-7), which snapped a four-game losing streak. Ezekiel Elliott had 21 carries for 103 yards to go along with a receiving touchdown out of the backfield.
(Field Level Media contributed to this report)
Monday afternoon, Thielen was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
Vikings have placed WR Adam Thielen on Reserve/COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/Ktp9z8VsbV— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 23, 2020
Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported:
A day after his best game of the season, the Vikings placed star wide receiver Adam Thielen on the COVID-19 reserve list Monday.
The Vikings did not divulge any details on Thielen’s condition, and his status for Sunday’s game against Carolina at U.S. Bank Stadium remains uncertain The COVID-19 reserve list is for players who test positive for coronavirus or are in close contact with an infected individual. In both cases, a player is quarantined.
Last Thursday, the Vikings placed fullback C.J. Ham on the COVID-19 list. However, he was taken off it two days later, and was able to play in Sunday’s 31-28 loss to Dallas at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Against the Cowboys, Thielen caught eight passes for a season-high 123 yards. He had touchdown catches of two yards in the third quarter and three yards in the fourth. The first one came on a magnificent one-handed grab in the far right corner of the end zone when he dragged his feet to remain inbounds.
Thielen leads the NFL with 11 touchdown receptions. That is a career high, topping the nine he caught in 2018.