What a difference a week the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings make.
The Cowboys were upset by the Green Bay Packers last week. Minnesota had perhaps its biggest win of the season in Week 10 against the Buffalo Bills in what some have called a potential Super Bowl preview.
The problem with the Vikings is that they perform as if last week was the Super Bowl. In a home game against the Cowboys, the Vikings excelled at every stage.
Minnesota was dismantled 40-3 by the Cowboys on Sunday. The 37-point win at Minnesota was the largest margin of victory for the Cowboys on the road in franchise history.
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The Cowboys outscored the Vikings 249-98 in the first half. Minnesota trailed 37-3 at the end of the third quarter.
In total, Dallas produced 458 yards in the win and held Minnesota to 183. The Vikings went 1-for-11 in the third.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was held to a modest 105 yards on 12 of 23 passes, and was sacked seven times. The Cowboys’ seven sacks was also the team’s season best.
It was an embarrassing home run for Minnesota and, at the same time, a dominant overall win for the Cowboys.
“We knew we needed to respond after last week. If we can keep doing that, this team can be special,” Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott told CBS after the game.
What Sunday proved, though, is that NFC doesn’t have a clear favorite. The Philadelphia Eagles narrowly escaped on the road against an Indianapolis Colts team that was trying to find its own with interim coach Jeff on Saturday. The New York Giants suffered a bewildering home loss to the lowly Detroit Lions.
Eagles (9-1), Vikings (8-2), Seattle Seahawks (6-4), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5), Giants (7-3), Cowboys (7-3) and San Francisco 49ers (5 -4) Represent the best seven teams in the NFC match picture. Leaders Washington (6-5) and Atlanta Falcons (5-6) are currently out of the conference playoff race.
All nine teams must feel they can beat any team in the NFC on any given Sunday. The Eagles lost to the Chiefs last week, the Bucks beat the Seahawks in Germany last week, the Giants lost two of their last three, the 49ers lost in Week 6, and the Cowboys choked the Vikings on Sunday.
NFC is wide open.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Tyler Dragon on Twitter @employee.