Welcome to AT&T Stadium

November, 3, 2013
11/03/13
10:50
AM ET
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Welcome to AT&T Stadium where the Dallas Cowboys kick off the second half of their season against the Minnesota Vikings.

Different at home: AT&T Stadium has been friendlier to the Cowboys this year than recent years.

A win would give the Cowboys their fourth at home this season, matching their total from 2012, but more importantly it would keep them on top of the NFC East.

The Cowboys are averaging 36.5 points per game at home, compared to just 21 on the road. The biggest difference is in the ground game. In the four games, the Cowboys have rushed for 380 yards and averaged 4.2 yards per carry. On the road the Cowboys average just 3.2 yards per carry.

A friendly month: Everybody is well aware of the Cowboys’ and Tony Romo’s issues in December. November is a much different story.

Romo has the best record of any quarterback in November at 21-4. He has thrown for 6,994 yards on 553 of 826 passing with 58 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.

If the Cowboys want to stay atop the NFC East race, then they will need another strong November. Of their four games in the month, the Cowboys play only one team with a winning record (New Orleans, Nov. 10).

Welcome back: Maybe it is just a coincidence that the Cowboys’ offense has fizzled since DeMarco Murray sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee on Oct. 13 against the Washington Redskins.

Murray will return to the lineup Sunday after a two-game absence. In his first game back last year from a six-week layoff with a foot injury, Murray carried 23 times for 83 yards and a touchdown in a win against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Slowing down the running game: With a passing game that has gone nowhere the Vikings rely heavily on running back Adrian Peterson.

While not as magical as he was in 2012, Peterson still has 571 yards rushing on 128 carries and six touchdowns. The Cowboys struggled in slowing down Reggie Bush of the Detroit Lions last week. Bush had 21 carries for 92 yards and a touchdown.

In their last home game, the Cowboys allowed 216 rushing yards to the Redskins.

The Vikings do not have the passing game to match their running game, but the Cowboys' pass defense is not exactly filled with confidence this week either. If there’s good news it’s that Christian Ponder is not in Matthew Stafford's neighborhood.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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