MINNEAPOLIS -- Some halftime thoughts from the Metrodome, where my ears are ringing from the game-long din of the crowd:
The amazing thing is that Dallas’ offense was moving up and down the field in the first quarter and the start of the second. The Cowboys’ plan to run directly at Vikings pass-rusher Jared Allen seemed smart, and they possessed the ball for 14:54 of the first 17:49 of the game. And yet they had only a 33-yard field goal to show for it. A missed 47-yard field goal and some well-timed pass rushes from the Vikings defense kept Minnesota in the game during that surge.
In his first career playoff appearance, Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards is having the game of his life. He has three sacks and three other hits of Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. I’m wondering if the Cowboys would have replaced right tackle Marc Colombo -- if his likely replacement wasn’t needed on the other side.
That’s right. Cowboys offensive lineman Doug Free ended up replacing an injured Flozell Adams at left tackle in the second quarter. Almost immediately, Allen sprang to life. After Adams departed, Allen had three tackles and a strip-sack of Romo.
Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson has 25 yards on nine carries, but it should be noted that both of Brett Favre’s touchdown passes to Sidney Rice came on play-action passes. Peterson also converted an important first down with a 19-yard reception.
The Frisbee dogs are performing at halftime, and they are awesome.
Remember earlier this week, when we called the Vikings’ home-field advantage a 50-50 proposition come playoff time? I think it’s leaning toward the positive 50 percent to this point. I’ve never heard a Metrodome crowd sustain its energy through an entire half as it has Sunday. The Cowboys are trailing by only two scores and have a high-powered offense, but they seemed pretty demoralized walking off the field at halftime.