Vikings at Cowboys: My Prediction and NBC's Collinsworth 'Big-Game' Thoughts

Mike Fisher

ARLINGTON - I have noted a few times this week that for whatever it's worth, the Dallas Cowboys have seemed to me to be especially loose this week in preparation for NBC’s "Sunday Night Football'' showdown with the visiting Minnesota Vikings. Meanwhil, NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth's look at the game is about the "bigness'' for Dallas.

Where do the two opinions work together? Collinsworth first, as he recently joined “K&C Masterpiece” on 105.3 The Fan to suggest that this game is more important for the 5-3 Cowboys than it is for the 6-3 Vikings.

"In my mind, I think it’s a bigger game for the Cowboys,'' said Collinsworth, who will call this nationally-televised game with Al Michaels. "A road game for any team against a winning team – for Minnesota – you hope to get those wins, but you’re not sure. You look at the Cowboys’ schedule the rest of the way compared to the Eagles’ schedule and you start going, ‘Uh oh. That’s tough.’ They’ve got really tough ones, and the Eagles have not so tough ones.

“This is going to be an interesting run, and when you’re playing at home against a team that has struggled to win on the road against quality opponents – this is one the Cowboys need to put away, I think, because the wild card is going to be very tough in the NFC. ... If the Eagles go on a great run, and the Cowboys struggle with a tougher schedule – that’s the reason I think it’s a bigger game for the Cowboys.”

Valid enough, all of it, to pick Dallas. Along with that is the Cowboys' status as three-point favorites and the aforementioned "looseness'' of the team, signified by coach Jason Garrett's all-week dealings off the record with the media ... and here tonight signified by Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott goofing off in pregame warmups.

Add it all up on this national stage? I've got Dallas 27, Minnesota 24.

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