Stock up, stock down from the Vikings’ loss to the Cowboys

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Despite playing an elite Cowboys team, the Vikings had a winnable matchup on Sunday night.

Dallas, missing star quarterback Dak Prescott, still managed to defeat Minnesota. The Cowboys moved to 6-1 with the victory.

Now, the Vikings have to try and salvage the 2021 season. Minnesota needs to recalibrate and figure out what went wrong in a game the team should have won.

Here is the stock up, stock down from the Vikings’ Week 8 loss to the Cowboys at home:

Stock up: S Xavier Woods

Photo: AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn

Woods had a strip-sack and an interception against his former team. The Vikings safety, when asked what his free agency situation was with the Cowboys last offseason, said that he guesses they didn’t want him back. Woods’ performance showed Dallas what it was missing.

Stock down: QB Kirk Cousins

Photo: AP Photo/Jim Mone

So far, Cousins has had more stellar performances than inadequate ones in 2021. But in Week 8, the Vikings quarterback struggled to get much going. He finished with 184 passing yards and a touchdown pass.

Stock up: K Greg Joseph

Photo: AP Photo/Jim Mone

Joseph went 3-for-3 on field goals and 1-for-1 on extra points Sunday. The Vikings kicker has already made and missed plenty of big kicks in 2021. He was perfect in Week 8.

The Vikings defense

Photo: AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn

The Cowboys went into the Week 8 matchup with the top-ranked offense in the NFL. They also went into it without their starting quarterback.

Cooper Rush, in relief of Dak Prescott, threw for 325 passing yards, two touchdown passes and an interception. The Vikings defense was missing CB Patrick Peterson and DT Michael Pierce. But overall, Minnesota needed to perform better on that side of the ball. Mike Zimmer’s coaching specialty has not always looked good in 2021. Oh yeah, Danielle Hunter could be out for the year, too.

Stock up: WR Adam Thielen

Photo: Jeffrey Becker/USA TODAY Sports

Thielen tallied his sixth touchdown reception of the year. He finished with 78 receiving yards. Thielen, at the age of 31, remains a great wideout.

Stock down: The Mike Zimmer era

Photo: Matt Blewett/USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings are 3-4. The team plays the Ravens this week. Minnesota has a gauntlet of a schedule remaining. The Vikings have playoff expectations in 2021.

This team is in trouble. Mike Zimmer needs to turn things around. As of now, the Minnesota brain trust does not look set up for longevity.

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