MINNEAPOLIS - For the second straight year, the Minnesota Vikings had any potential Halloween plans with their families impacted by their regular season schedule.
Last year, the Vikings were traveling to Green Bay on Halloween to face the Packers in a game they ended up winning 28-22. This year, the Vikings host the Dallas Cowboys on Halloween night at U.S. Bank Stadium, Sunday Night Football on national television.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins is missing trick-or-treating with his two boys for the second straight year.
"I’m 0-for-2 the last two years," Cousins joked. "After having kids, trick-or-treating is just tremendous. To walk down the street with them, they got their costume on, they knock on the door. To see their eyes, it’s a little bit like Christmas morning just watching the excitement, the magic of it."
Cousins said his wife is handling the family’s Halloween duties. His son Turner is dressing up as Mickey Mouse, and his son Cooper will be a dinosaur.
Safety Harrison Smith said Wednesday he’s a big Halloween guy. But with the Vikings playing Sunday night, there’s no parties and no handing out candy.
"I’m a little disappointed I can’t have a little celebration," Smith said.
He plans to leave out a bowl of candy for the kids in his neighborhood, and says it’s strictly full size candy bars. With nobody home to police the situation, Smith has to trust that there will be candy left after the first group of trick-or-treaters comes through.
"I’ll put some candy out for the neighborhood kids. The problem is you put out a bowl of candy, and the first group of kids takes all of it. It happens almost every year. Whatever," Smith said. "I’m not surprised, I’m getting exactly what I asked for."
When asked what his favorite Halloween costumes are, Smith said he’s dressed up as the old man with the cane in the movie, "Up." He’s also gone as Robin Hood and a member of the American Gladiators, but is most proud of when he was at Notre Dame. He dressed up as Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean.
"I had long hair in college. It was money," Smith said.
DALVIN COOK EXCITED FOR PRIMETIME MATCH-UP WITH COWBOYS
The Vikings face a huge task Sunday night, hosting the Cowboys on the national stage with both teams coming off their bye week. The Cowboys have won five straight games since a Week 1 loss and sit atop the NFC East. Their biggest question mark is quarterback Dak Prescott, who is dealing with a calf injury.
On Minnesota’s side, the week off did wonders for Dalvin Cook, who has been battling an ankle injury since Week 2. He missed the Vikings’ home opener, and was limited to nine carries for 34 yards in the Week 4 home loss to the Cleveland Browns.
It’ll be his first real time playing at U.S. Bank Stadium in front of fans since before the COVID-19 pandemic. With a night game on Halloween, the fans will be ready to be loud.
"I’ve been dinged up a little bit, so I’m excited to get back in front of the fans, especially on Sunday night. I know they’re going to be rowdy and loud. I’m ready and we’re going to need them come Sunday," Cook said.
Sunday night also marks the start of a brutal four-game stretch for the Vikings, facing the Cowboys, Ravens, Chargers and Packers. The four have a combined record of 20-6. If they intend to be in the playoff race, winning a home game against the Cowboys is a great place to start.
"We’ve got to go play good football for the rest of the year if we’re trying to do what we want. Take care of Dallas this week, that’s our No. 1 goal," Cook said.