Vikings vs. Cowboys player props: Why we like Zeke Elliott to edge Dalvin Cook in rushing yards

Dallas Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott
Dallas Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
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The Cowboys are favored by 3 points over the Vikings on Sunday Night Football, and with a total of 48, there’s plenty of offensive star power in this Week 10 matchup of NFC playoff hopefuls. We’re eyeing the UNDER on a pair of player props, however, and also have a take on a bet that pits two of the NFL’s premier running backs against each other.

Vikings vs. Cowboys player props

Kirk Cousins UNDER 270 passing yards

Cousins has had some nice games lately, so you can see why this line is as high as it is. But there are two reasons to take the UNDER here. First, Cousins owns a dismal 6-28 career record against winning teams. There’s not necessarily a correlation between passing yards and wins, but Cousins famously hasn’t played well in most of those games. Second, the Dallas pass defense is strong. The Cowboys surrender just 220.9 air yards per game, which ranks seventh in the NFL.

Cousins topped the 270 mark four times in a row in October before throwing for 238 yards in his last outing against the Chiefs. But he did it against poor pass defenses – the Eagles, Lions and Giants all rank in the bottom half of the league. In fact, the Cowboys will be the best pass defense Cousins has faced all season. Look for them to keep the Vikings trigger man in check.  

Ezekiel Elliot more rushing yards than Dalvin Cook (EVEN)

Elliott and Cook are two of the best running backs in the game, so this should be fun to watch. You better believe they’re looking to prove who’s the superior player.

MORE: Betting trend points to fireworks in Vikings vs. Cowboys

Cook has had a phenomenal season, but his best work came in the first three weeks, running for at least 110 yards in each start. With the Vikings unleashing Cousins more, Cook’s workload has dropped – he’s hit the 100 yard mark twice in his last six games, including two clunkers where he didn’t crack 50. The Cowboys run defense ranks 10th in yards per game on the year and has been even better in the last three weeks, ranking seventh.

Elliott, meanwhile, is playing his best football of the season after a training camp holdout seemed to affect him in the first few games. His last three rushing yardage totals are 105, 111 and 139, and Elliott carried the ball at least 22 times in each game. The Vikings run defense is strong too – it ranks eighth – but it hasn’t been as stout over the last three games, as it checks in at 15th during that span.

Both running backs are excellent and going up against solid run defenses. But Elliott’s arrow is pointing up, while Cook seems to have plateaued.   

Michael Gallup UNDER 64 receiving yards

Gallup is an explosive player and topped this mark in his first three starts, including receiving totals of 158 and 113 in Weeks 1 and 3, respectively. But he’s missed some time due to injury and hasn’t matched that production since returning – Gallup is averaging 38.3 receiving yards in his last three games.

He may return to early-season form at some point, but the Vikings’ secondary is legit and probably not the unit to get right against. Minnesota has the No. 8 pass defense in the NFL and has two solid corners in Trae Waynes and Xavier Rhodes.

Gallup could crack this number – he’s a big play guy who’s averaging 15.7 yards per catch this season. But he’s averaging only 5.7 targets per game in his last three contests in comparison to 9.7 in the first three.

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