MINNEAPOLIS -- This is the last time the Cowboys' first-team offense and defense could get their acts together before the start of the regular season. The passing attack looked pretty good for the Cowboys, but the run defense struggled, and while it was Adrian Peterson doing the work, the Cowboys could have done a better job with their push up front.
As for the game, the Cowboys won 23-17.
Cowboys make news: Before the start of the game, the Cowboys made some news by sitting Pro Bowl center Andre Gurode. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said the team made the move as a business decision. The Cowboys are trying to lower salary cap figures for several of their players in the next two seasons and want to do so with Gurode. However, it's not known if Gurode would be willing to take a pay cut, or if the Cowboys can find a team to trade him to. Team officials will meet with Gurode and his agent, Kennard McGuire, on Sunday to sort out the details.
Romo looks good: Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo finished his night after leading the first-team offense to a touchdown and a field goal. Romo completed 15 of 20 passes for 141 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. Romo looked poised under center, and he did move out of the pocket to complete some passes while pressured. With Gurode out of the lineup, the Cowboys started rookie Kevin Kowalski at center.
Run defense struggles: Peterson ran all over the Cowboys' first-team defense. He rushed for 69 yards on 11 carries in the first half with several big runs on third down. The Cowboys' front seven was pushed around by the Vikings' offensive line in the first half.
Running game looks pretty good: Felix Jones had just five carries, but he gained 20 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown run. Jones looked good in hitting the holes, making defenders miss, breaking tackles and reading his blocks. If there were any questions about Jones' abilities to take over the lead role for Marion Barber, they should have been answered this preseason. Now all that's left for the Cowboys to do is settle on the fourth running back spot, if they want to have one. Tashard Choice and DeMarco Murray both ran well Saturday night. Phillip Tanner was on the field before Lonyae Miller for the first time this preseason. Tanner is ahead of Miller on the depth chart, and if he plays well on special teams he could make the 53-man roster.
Injury report: Cornerback Alan Ball, who was performing well in the preseason, suffered an elbow injury in the first half and didn't return. Ball returned a blocked field goal 20 yards for a touchdown. Also, tight end Martellus Bennett injured his right ankle late in the third quarter. He couldn't put any weight on the ankle and needed to be helped from the field.