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COWBOYS VS. VIKINGS GAMEDAY PRIMER: Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson still after Emmitt Smith’s NFL record

COWBOYS VS. VIKINGS GAMEDAY PRIMER: Adrian Peterson still after Emmitt Smith's record

Adrian Peterson is on Emmitt Smith’s pace. Peterson has 9,420 yards seven games into his seventh season. Smith had 9,488 to this point.

But Peterson would have to play five-plus seasons after this one, averaging the 1,475 he has averaged per season in his career, to break Smith’s all-time rushing record of 18,355.

Peterson, a Palestine and Oklahoma product, thinks it’ll be sooner than that. He predicted last summer that he would become the NFL’s all-time leading rusher in Week 16 of 2017.

He stuck by that prediction in the conference call with Dallas media today. 

“I definitely have to keep my game up to par.. and that record can be broken,” Peterson said. “But I’m not focusing on that. I set goals, and I just go out and play and if happens, it happens and if doesn’t, it doesn’t. I don’t harp on it.”

Peterson, 28, nearly set the single-season rushing record last season with 2,097 yards. He is behind that pace this year with 571 yards.

“Coming off last year, MVP, 2,000 yards, guys are coming in to stop the run, and this is how they’ve always played the Vikings for the past seven years — come in and stop the run,” Peterson said, “definitely with a more emphasis on it now. So you’re going to have those. Then again, you’re going to have the opportunity to break the long one, too. I just take them when it comes.”

Here’s the math:

He would need to rack up 8,936 yards over the next 73 games to break Smith’s record. That comes to an average of 122.4 yards a game. Peterson currently averages 98.1 yards a game for his career.


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Know The Enemy: Adrian Peterson (3:12)

Film break down on Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. (Watch Video)

THE TEXAS-2-MUCH SCHEME: Despite turnovers, Dallas Cowboys defense on pace to be worst in NFL history

THE TEXAS 2-MUCH SCHEME - Despite turnovers, Dallas Cowboys defense on pace to be worst in NFL history - 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys defense

DETROIT — The Dallas Cowboys defense has improved in the turnover department.

They forced four turnovers Sunday and have 18 on the season, two more than they had all of last year. But those turnovers weren’t enough to get them a victory, as they became the second team in NFL history to lose a game when having a plus-4 turnover margin.  

“That’s a shame,” defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin said. “We talk about turnovers and we did what we needed to do. We just didn’t make things as tough as we should have and of course we didn’t stop the pass. You can’t give up big chunks like that, gosh darn it.”

The turnovers were nice and are usually the difference maker in the outcome, but the yardage allowed by the Cowboys’ defense is staggering this season. 

They allowed 623 yards Sunday and are now on pace to give up 6,760 yards on the season, which would be a team record and one of the worst in NFL history. They are also on pace to give up 5,062 passing yards, which would set an NFL record.

Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson had 329 receiving yards, the second most all-time in a single game. More troubling, though, is that the Cowboys’ defense allowed the Lions to march 80 yards in 50 seconds in what proved to be the game-deciding drive late in the fourth quarter. Earlier in the fourth quarter, they allowed two eight-play, 80-yard touchdown drives.

“When it matters most, when it’s time to get off the field, when it’s time to put a dagger in them in the last drive of the game, we weren’t able to do that,” cornerback Brandon Carr said. “That’s what cost us in the end.”

Said defensive tackle Jason Hatcher: “I put it on the defense. We should have closed the game out and we didn’t.”

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