Grades for Cowboys-Vikings

Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Cowboys-Vikings preseason game.

| 2 years ago

Grades for Cowboys-Vikings

Here are the top takeaways from Saturday’s Vikings-Cowboys game, including the highest-graded players for each team:


— Though just two were aimed more than 10 yards downfield, rookie quarterback Taylor Heinicke connected on all 12 of his throws. That included a 5-for-5 showing on pressured attempts, as he earned his second consecutive positive game grade.

— Defensive tackle Tom Johnson pushed his preseason-leading pressure total to 12 with a sack, two hits, and a hurry.

— Middle linebacker Gerald Hodges saw just eight snaps of run defense but logged four tackles and three defensive stops in that span, leading inside linebackers this week with a run stop percentage of 37.5.

Top 5 graded players:

QB Taylor Heinicke (+2.4)

LG Brandon Fusco (+1.8)

DE Brian Robison (+1.8)

C Zac Kerin (+1.6)

RT Austin Shepherd (+1.5)


— Last season tight end Jason Witten had only one negative performance in pass-blocking (Week 2 against Tennessee), but last night he posted a dismal -1.4 rating. Unfortunately his run blocking wasn’t any better (-1.3), as it was an all-around poor performance by one of the league’s standards at the position.

— With backup quarterback Brandon Weeden out because of a concussion suffered during Dallas’ Week 2 game, Dustin Vaughan again saw extensive action against the Vikings. This was certainly a game he’d like to forget, however, as his inaccuracy and decision-making resulted in another brutal grade (-4.6 passing).

— Defensive tackle Davon Coleman was a stud in second-half duty, posting positive grades in every phase of his game on his way to an overall grade of +3.5.  He was as explosive as he was powerful, as Minnesota’s interior line consistently struggled to contain him to the line of scrimmage.

Top 5 graded players:

MLB Jasper Brinkley (+3.7)

DT Davon Coleman (+3.5)

S Barry Church (+3.2)

P Chris Jones (+3.2)

DE Greg Hardy (+3.2)

| Analyst

Josh joined PFF as an analyst in 2015. During the season, his primary focus is college football (mainly the Big Ten). He is also heavily involved in PFF's NFL draft coverage. Prior to joining the team, he worked for six years with GM Jr. Scouting, an independent draft scouting service.

  • Craig

    Fusco is so good. Plug him in a left or right and you are good.

  • cka2nd

    Here’s hoping Brinkley has a good season.

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