Cowboys hope to keep Peterson sputtering

IRVING, Texas -- Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson appeared to be average in the latter half of the season.

Peterson fell short of 100 yards in the Vikings' last seven games. He averaged 3.5 yards per carry during that stretch, when he gained a total of 466 yards.

The Dallas Cowboys will prepare for Peterson, who has used his rare blend of speed and power to rush for 4,484 yards in three seasons, to be at his best Sunday.

"You need to commit to the running game with that guy," Wade Phillips said. "He’s such a tremendous talent. He’s done everything already and still doing more."

The Cowboys have the league's fourth-ranked rushing defense, allowing 90.5 yards per game. They didn't allow a 100-yard rusher during the regular season.

They don't plan for that to change against Peterson, but he'll be the most dangerous back Dallas has faced.

"You have to gang tackle and have to have great pursuit," Phillips said. "Speed on defense is really a key because if you’re a little bit slow and he gets through there, he’s gone."