Vikings 34, Cowboys 3 (ESPN Box Score)
Vikings 34, Cowboys 3 !!!
The Minnesota Vikings saved their best defensive performance for the playoffs. Against a "red hot" team that was being picked by many, many pundits to win this game, the Viking defense shut the Dallas Cowboys down. With Bud Grant and Prince looking on and FOX of course insisting on showing Drew Pearson pushing off, the Vikings crushed the Dallas Cowboys.
The pass rush was relentless, coming from all directions and all sorts of players. It wasn't one player dominating: how often did one pass rusher make Tony Romo scramble so that another pass rusher could hit him? We saw plays behind the line of scrimmage from Ray Edwards, Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, Jimmy Kennedy, Brian Robison, and more.
The tackling was superb: Dallas was unable to make big plays by catching and running. Viking linebackers and defensive backs were generally superb at taking Cowboy runners to the ground. The Cowboys also never had a successful kick or punt return: the Viking coverage and tackling was outstanding.
Brett Favre threw seven passes to Sidney Rice, and Rice caught six passes for 141 yards and three touchdowns. On the two long catches, Rice was closely but poorly covered, and Favre threw perfect passes and Rice made what must have been difficult catches look easy. Rice continues to prove himself to be an elite wide receiver. For Brett Favre, a season in which he had another 30 TD season, another 4,000 yard season, another 12 win season, another division title, and his first 100 rating season, he also gets a playoff win against the Dallas Cowboys.
The Minnesota Vikings advance to the NFL/NFC Championship Game for the ninth time in franchise history. Today is a joyous day. Let us hope it is not finished.
Skol, my friends.