From Rich Gosselin, the most-excellent football writer for the Dallas daily:
It will be the goal of the Cowboys’ defense Sunday to take Favre out of his comfort zone. But Minnesota has a talented blocking front with a pair of Pro Bowlers, guard Steve Hutchinson and tackle Bryant McKinnie. The Vikings also will keep a running back or tight end in to protect Favre from the assault of the Dallas front seven.
In 19 NFL seasons, Favre has seen it all. It’s tough to surprise him. But defenses have managed to do so this season with some timely safety blitzes. Favre has been sacked as often by safeties (seven) as outside linebackers. At home in the dome, safeties have twice as many sacks of Favre (two) as linebackers (one).
Wade Phillips will have some defensive decisions to make on gameday. His two safeties, Ken Hamlin and Gerard Sensabaugh, have a combined five sacks in 13 seasons, including none this year. The blitz is not their forte.
The Vikings have three wideouts who can stretch the field. Phillips can play it safe and keep the safeties home to fend off the big play. But then the game will be played on Favre’s terms. Favre wouldn’t expect the Cowboys to send their safeties. That’s all the more reason to send them.
The more comfortable Favre becomes Sunday, the less comfortable the Cowboys will become. And vice versa.