Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Haltime: Vikings 10, Cowboys 6

Posted by: Mark Craig under NFC Updated: November 3, 2013 - 1:20 PM

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Our snapshot halftime look as the Vikings (1-6) lead the Cowboys (4-4) 10-6 at AT&T Stadium ...

The Good: Christian Ponder's 13-yard completion to Jarius Wright on third-and-10, extending the Vikings' second possession en route to a 23-yard field goal that tied the score at 3-3 with 2:08 left in the opening quarter. What do you know! A third-down-and-long conversion via the forward pass. ... Brian Robison beating Cowboys right tackle Doug Free, one of the better pass protectors in the league, for a sack on third-and-19 midway through the second quarter. Tony Romo was in rhythm before the sack, but the Cowboys had to settle for a 44-yard field goal and a 6-3 lead with 6:35 left in the half. ... Going for it on fourth-and-one at the Cowboys' 16-yard line in the first quarter. Yes, Adrian Peterson was stopped for no gain by Sean Lee, one of the better linebackers in the league. But it was a good, aggressive call against a high-scoring team that isn't going to be beaten with field goals. ... Ponder running it in for a touchdown on third-and-goal from the 6 to give the Vikings a 10-6 lead with 1:41 left in the half. The touchdown overcame some questionable play-calling in the red zone on that drive. On first-and-goal from the 8, the Vikings lined up in the shotgun with a split backfield of Peterson and Kyle Rudolph. Peterson carried for 2 yards. The next call was a pass out of the shotgun. Ponder threw the ball into the turf as he rolled toward the right sideline. Peterson in the I-formation running downhill behind Jerome Felton felt like the call there, at least on first down. ... Everson Griffen's 9-yard sack on third-and-6 with the Cowboys at midfield with 39 seconds left in the half.

The Bad:  Left guard Charlie Johnson holding on the game's opening drive, negating an 11-yard run by Peterson and putting the Vikings in a passing situation at first-and-20. Three plays later, the Vikings had to punt. Hard to commit to the run when it's first-and-20. ... Strong safety Mistral Raymond taking a bad angle and whiffing on what became a 27-yard run by DeMarco Murray to set up a 41-yard field goal on the Cowboys' first possession of the game. Robert Blanton came on for Raymond in the second quarter. ... Settling for a field goal after getting first-and-goal at the Dallas 11-yard line late in the first quarter. On first down, Ponder threw an uncatchable ball out of the back of the end zone. Then two Peterson runs came up short. ... Peterson getting stuffed for no gain on fourth-and-one from the Dallas 16 early in the second quarter with the score tied 3-3. ... 

The Ugly: Giving up a 29-yard pass to Terrance Williams on third-and-17 from the Cowboys' 13-yard line with a minute left in the half. Fortunately for the Vikings, Griffen's sack came two snaps later.

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