Vikings’ Za’Darius Smith Eats His Words After Cowboys Loss: ‘We Got Our A** Kicked’

Za'Darius Smith

Getty The Vikings are on the hook for some of Za'Darius Smith's 2023 base salary after trading him to the Cleveland Browns, Mary Kay Cabot reported.

Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith got a taste of humble pie ahead of Thanksgiving.

The star Vikings edge rusher was captured on video during the Vikings’ pregame warmups, saying he’s “feeling 9-1” — signaling Minnesota would add the Dallas Cowboys to their growing list of victories this season.

What followed was a demolition at the hands of Dallas, which went on to win 40-3 on November 20, the second-largest home loss in Vikings history.

Smith set an example for the Vikings, who have to move on quickly with a primetime matchup with the New England Patriots slated for Thursday, by eating his words after the game.

Vikings’ Za’Darius Smith: ‘We Got Our A** Kicked’ by Cowboys

After the game, Smith addressed a tweet from the NFL’s official Twitter account that shared the video of his proclamation the Vikings would end the day at 9-1.

Smith replied: “We got our A$$ kicked! The Great thing about it we get to play another game in 4 days! 8-2.” Smith was held to just one pressure after averaging 5.5 pressures per game this season.

Smith’s postgame tweet echoed a similar sentiment coming from all corners of the locker room — that the Vikings need to move on right away if they’re going to have a successful rebound game against the Patriots.

 Vikings Need to Remedy Offensive Line in a Hurry

The toughest pill to swallow about Minnesota’s loss to Dallas was the fact the Vikings were manhandled in the trenches on both sides of the ball.

Kirk Cousins was sacked seven times, the most in his career, and was under duress often when Christian Darrisaw was knocked out of the game with concussion symptoms.

The Cowboys’ ability to get after the passer was no secret. Dallas led the league with 36.0 sacks through nine games entering Sunday’s matchup. Minnesota attempted to cover up for backup tackle Blake Brandel, however, that left soft spots on the interior.

And while seven sacks can’t be pinpointed to just one, but instead, many faults on Sunday, the Vikings will have to make adjustments with Darrisaw ruled out against the Patriots.

We were trying to do some things to help on the edges as much as possible, especially when C.D. went down. Then there would be interior penetration. Then trying to maybe help interior-wise and make sure the slide’s going the right way, and then there was some issues on the perimeter as well,” Kevin O’Connell said in a November 20 postgame press conference. “Some of them came on play passes where you’re trying to protect and trying to give Justin and Adam a chance to work down the field, and we just didn’t give an opportunity for those plays to happen. So whether it was our play pass protection, whether it was our execution in the screen game to try to slow down the rush, or just across the board, even when we did get some completion plays going, earned a couple first downs, then there would be a penalty or a negative play to put us behind the sticks. So just not good enough across the board.”

O’Connell will have to get creative and likely keep his receivers running shallower routes if the offensive line can’t hold the pocket against a New England team that ranks second in sacks (36.0) this season.

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