Cowboys hold on against Vikings to win 11th game on the bounce

Dallas Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown, right, breaks up a pass intended for Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Charles Johnson during the second half of an NFL football game Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)


AP

MINNEAPOLIS — Dallas had to work hard to extend its record winning streak to 11 games, holding off Minnesota and winning 17-15 on Thursday.

Dez Bryant, whose 56-yard catch in the first half set up Ezekiel Elliott’s touchdown, came up with the go-ahead play in the fourth as he took an 8-yard scoring pass after a fumbled punt by Minnesota’s Adam Thielen.

Elliott rushed for 86 yards on 20 carries, and his touchdown was his 12th of the season; tying him for the most by a rookie in Cowboys history.

Dallas (11-1) has the longest single-season winning streak in franchise history.

Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford threw a touchdown pass to Jerick McKinnon with 25 seconds to play, but the 2-point conversion pass failed. Bradford argued for a penalty after he was hit in the face by a defender, but there was no call. Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott completed 12 of 18 pass attempts for 139 yards.

Bradford completed 32 of 45 passes for 247 yards, Danielle Hunter had two sacks and Kai Forbath kicked three field goals for Minnesota, which has lost six of the past seven games after a 5-0 start.

Minnesota (6-6) played without coach Mike Zimmer after he had emergency eye surgery Wednesday.

Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer was elevated to head coach for the game. It is unclear how long Zimmer will be out.

Minnesota’s third-ranked defense did their fiery leader proud, holding the explosive Cowboys offense to season lows in points, yards (264) and first downs (13).

The Vikings forced two turnovers from a team that had not coughed one up in the previous four games, including a strip sack by Brian Robison that set up Forbath’s 33-yard field goal for a 9-7 lead in the fourth quarter.