IRVING, Texas -- Some Observations from the film room at Valley Ranch:
Selvie On The Spot
The Cowboys had just taken a 13 – 10 lead on a drive to open the second half. Dan Bailey kicks off to Cordarrelle Patterson, who has the ball bounce out of his hands and out of bounds at the Vikings five-yard line, which in itself is a huge break for the Cowboys.
The Vikings line up in their base personnel with a twins look to the left-hand side. Greg Jennings starts in motion toward the formation and Brandon Carr adjusts with him as Orlando Scandrick is lined up across from Jerome Simpson in the slot. Now the two Cowboys corners trade the coverage at the snap. Barry Church is in the box to the right, and as he sees the ball action by Ponder to Peterson, he starts forward to fill.
Scandrick is in man coverage with Greg Jennings as he crosses the formation, but as he is working across, he runs right into Church coming forward, which blocks him from getting to Jennings, who now has a clear path in the route.
Sean Lee sees what is happening and starts to adjust to Jennings to try and help in coverage. Ponder sets deep in the pocket after the fake, looking at Jennings.
As the play begins to develop, Adrian Peterson starts up the field on the wheel route with Church now chasing him. Ponder now turns to his left to try and find Peterson heading up the sideline. There is some separation between Peterson and Church as he continues up the field, but Church is able to close the gap to provide the coverage.
On the backside, George Selvie is rushing against backup tackle J'Marcus Webb, who is in the game for Phil Loadholt, who suffered an injury late in the first half. On the rush, Selvie works into Webb, then breaks hard to the outside. Webb becomes over extended and is reaching for Selvie as he works to the outside. By the time Ponder finishes his drop, he doesn't feel Selvie, who is completely past Webb and working inside.
A bad trait that Ponder has when he is in the pocket, is that he tends to hold the ball too long. In this case, instead of getting set and delivering it, he tries to slide forward and as he is winding up, Selvie is on him and is able to knock the ball out of his hand.
In the front of the pocket, Jason Hatcher is getting a one-on-one block from Charlie Johnson and is able to beat him. Nick Hayden is battling a double team and he now sees the ball on the ground and just out-hustles John Sullivan to the spot to make the recovery for the touchdown.
There was also a huge hit from Jarius Wynn from the right defensive end spot that kept Ponder from having a chance at recovering the ball, as well.
For George Selvie, it was his sixth sack of the season and for this Cowboys defense on Sunday, couldn't have come at a better time.
With the Vikings facing a third and eight from the Cowboys 23, Christian Ponder takes the snap and throws the ball underneath to Jarius Wright, who makes the reception and starts up the field. Bruce Carter is standing on the 15-yard line and starts forward to meet Wright, who tries to lower his shoulder and run into Carter, who doesn't move.
Carter is able to hold up Wright, which allows Sean Lee and Barry Church enough time to come over and help on the play at the 16 yard line, holding the Vikings to a fourth and one decision.
Leslie Frazier decides to roll the dice instead of taking the points and potentially making it a 6-3 game in favor of the Vikings. He keeps his offensive team on the field. Everyone in the stadium knows Bill Musgrave is going to hand the ball to Adrian Peterson, and he does just that.
The Vikings go with their "22" personnel, with both Kyle Rudolph and John Carlson on the right side of the formation with Jerome Felton and Peterson in the backfield, in an "I" formation.
Monte Kiffin sends his short yardage and goal line package onto the field to counter the Vikings. Hatcher, Hayden and Nevis are lined up over the inside three with Selvie and Wiber on the outside. Church is lined up over Carlson with Durant inside of Selvie over Rudolph.
At the snap of the ball, the Vikings are trying to get the ball off the right side, going at Church, Durant, Selvie and Hatcher. Phil Loadholt tries to down block on Hatcher to replace guard Brandon Fusco, who is trying to pull to the edge. [embedded_ad]
At the point of attack, Selvie crashes hard down inside and is able to beat the block of Carlson but by getting as far down inside, he is able to disrupt the path of Fusco trying to get on Sean Lee.
Church is physically able to handle Felton one-on-one, which means Peterson is now left without a guard and a fullback as lead blockers. Peterson runs right into the back of Fusco as Lee is now right there in the hole to take on Peterson square. Lee is able to wrap up Peterson, which allows Carter to also get there, along with Church who spun back into the play to help on the stop.
The stop allowed the Cowboys to hold the Vikings to no points there but it also gave the ball back to their offense which took it and scored three points of their own to go up 6-3 in the second quarter.