The Vikings prepared for the NFC title game last season with the plan of having fullback Naufahu Tahi be inactive on game day.
It didn't happen. At the last moment, coach Brad Childress changed his mind and had Tahi on the 45-man roster.
That will not be the case today. Tahi was told this week he would be a healthy scratch for the first time since the 2007 season and this time the plan did not change for today's game against Dallas. Also inactive is running back Toby Gerhart, making it the first time this season the second-round pick has been a healthy scratch.
Running back Albert Young is active for the first time since the opening game. There is little question the move has to do with the Vikings desire to provide quarterback Brett Favre with better pass protection. Tahi and Gerhart both had issues last Monday night in the Vikings' loss to the Jets.
Tahi had played in all four game this season and missed only one game over the past two seasons. That was last year in Green Bay after he was hurt while playing around in the locker room. The move means it's expected you'll see more multiple tight-ends sets today and Jeff Dugan could shift to the backfield at times to play the fullback role.
Center John Sullivan, who sat out last game because of a calf injury, will be active but Jon Cooper will make his first career start at center.
On defense, cornerback Chris Cook will be active after missing the Monday night game because of a knee injury. Asher Allen remains listed as the starter at the right corner, meaning Cook might see action in nickel situations. Cornerbacks Frank Walker and Lito Sheppard also are active for the Vikings. Walker was signed last week.
The Vikings other inactives are wide receiver Hank Baskett; safety Tyrell Johnson; offensive lineman Chris DeGeare (ankle); defensive tackle Jimmy Kennedy; and defensive end Everson Griffen. Joe Webb is the third quarterback.
It comes as no surprise that quarterback Brett Favre will start his NFL record 290th consecutive game today despite the fact he's battling tendinitis in his right elbow. Favre got a shot in the elbow after the Jets loss as the Vikings continue to look for ways to manage the pain. It wasn't the first cortisone shot Favre has gotten this season.
The Cowboys inactives are linebackers Leon Williams and Brandon Williams; center Phil Costa; offensive tackles Jermey Parnell and Sam Young; wide receiver Kevin Ogletree; and defensive end Sean Lissemore. Stephen McGee is the third quarterback.
As expected rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant (ankle) is active for the Cowboys.