Dallas Cowboys’ lopsided win over Minnesota Vikings shows NFC is wide open | Opinion – USA TODAY

What a difference a week makes for the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings.

The Cowboys were upset by the Green Bay Packers last week. Minnesota had perhaps its biggest win of the season Week 10 against the Buffalo Bills in what some pegged as a possible Super Bowl preview.

The problem for the Vikings is they performed as if last week was their Super Bowl. In a home matchup versus the Cowboys, the Vikings were outclassed in every phase.

Minnesota was dismantled 40-3 by the Cowboys on Sunday. The 37-point win at Minnesota was the Cowboys’ largest margin of victory on the road in franchise history.

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The Vikings were outgained 249 to 98 by the Cowboys at halftime. Minnesota trailed 37-3 at the end of the third quarter.

In total, Dallas produced 458 yards in the win and held Minnesota to 183. The Vikings went 1 for 11 on third down.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was held to a modest 105 yards on 12 of 23 passing, and he was sacked a career-high seven times. The Cowboys’ seven sacks were also a season-best for the team.

It was an embarrassing home performance by Vikings, and at the same time, a dominant all-around win for the Cowboys.

“We knew we needed to respond after last week,” Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott told CBS after the game. “If we can continue to do this, this team can be special.”

What Sunday proved, though, is the NFC doesn’t have a clear-cut favorite. The Philadelphia Eagles barely survived on the road against an Indianapolis Colts team trying to find itself with interim coach Jeff Saturday. The New York Giants had a perplexing home loss to the lowly Detroit Lions.

The Eagles (9-1), Vikings (8-2), Seattle Seahawks (6-4), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5), Giants (7-3), Cowboys (7-3) and San Francisco 49ers (5-4) represent the top seven teams in the NFC playoff picture. The Washington Commanders (6-5)  and Atlanta Falcons (5-6) are currently on the outside of the conference playoff race.

All nine teams have to feel like they can win against any team in the NFC on any given Sunday. The Eagles lost to the Commanders last week, the Bucs beat the Seahawks in Germany last week, the Giants have lost two of its last three, the 49ers lost to the Falcons in Week 6 and the Cowboys throttled the Vikings on Sunday.

The NFC is wide open.

Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Tyler Dragon on Twitter @TheTylerDragon.