Welcome to Around the Horns, our daily look at what's happening on the Vikings beat:
Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier didn't come down terribly hard on his two players -- defensive end Brian Robison and defensive tackle Kevin Williams -- who publicly criticized the Vikings end-of-game strategy in Sunday's 27-23 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Frazier said he would have preferred both players to come to the coaching staff before airing their concerns in public, but he added he understood their frustration.
But Judd Zulgad of 1500ESPN.com sees a more serious problem with what the two veteran linemen said on Sunday. In his view, their comments are a signal that players are beginning to tune out Frazier and his staff, which could lead to the group getting fired at the end of the season.
"When players decide to take their angst to the media, it often means that they are tired of trying to explain to the coaching staff why certain things aren't working or need to be altered," Zulgad writes.
As Zulgad notes in the story, Frazier has done some of his best work when he's needed to keep a team from falling off the ledge. He did it in 2010, after he took over for Brad Childress in the middle of a chaotic season. He did it in 2011, when he kept the Vikings playing hard in a 3-13 season, and he did it in 2012, when the team won its last four games to reach the playoffs after falling from 4-1 to 6-6.
His job might be tougher this time, though, after the Vikings raised expectations after a 10-6 season. This is the first time in Frazier's tenure the Vikings came into a season counting on big things, and the fact they haven't been able to make that happen has some players reaching a breaking point. It might take a big turnaround to keep Frazier on the job after this year.
Here are today's other Vikings stories of note:
We revisited some of Christian Ponder's misfires late in games, and looked at Robison standing by his critical comments about the Vikings' defense.
Former Vikings safety Joey Browner, who was inducted into the team's Ring of Honor last month and is three-fourths indigenous, will be back at the Metrodome on Thursday doing a "conscience walk" in support of a name change for the Washington Redskins, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press writes.