The Vikings have now had nearly a month with quarterback Josh Freeman. And he’s not their starting quarterback.

Coach Leslie Frazier announced on Friday that Christian Ponder will start Sunday’s game against the Cowboys. It’ll be Ponder’s second straight start after he was benched first for Matt Cassel and then for Freeman.

Last week, Ponder played because Freeman had a concussion. This week, Freeman is healthy.

It’s hardly a ringing endorsement for Freeman as the long-term answer at quarterback, but that’s one of the reasons why the Vikings paid him $2 million for the balance of the season after he was cut by the Bucs. They wanted the exclusive chance to assess whether he can become the franchise quarterback they haven’t had since the last two years of Brett Favre’s career.