The Seattle Seahawks take the field. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren
The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Seattle Seahawks 30-23 at Century Link field on Sunday. The loss is only the team’s second in 19 games at home. The game began with the usual Seahawks’ swagger on the field. An early drive in the first quarter, bolstered by a booming 53-yard pass to Jermaine Kearse, led to a field goal by kicker Steven Hauschka and an early Seattle lead. The defense followed suit, taking Dallas quarterback Tony Romo down hard on a third and three. The play forced a punt, which was blocked by Seattle’s Doug Baldwin. The ball was recovered by Seattle linebacker Mike Morgan and returned 25 yards for a touchdown.
Richard Sherman breaks up a pass intended for Dallas’ Dez Bryant. Sherman was called for pass interference. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-LindgrenBut the Cowboys, currently in the midst of their best start in several seasons, made it clear they wouldn’t go quietly. Romo and company responded quickly, utilizing both pass-plays and their star running back DeMarco Murray. The resulting 80-yard drive gave the Cowboys their first touchdown late in the first quarter. The team converted their next drive into a field goal, tying up the game early in the second quarter. Romo then scored again late in the second, connecting with tight end Jason Witten on a 3-yard touchdown pass, giving Dallas a 17-10 lead going into the half.
A Seattle fan catches a look Cowboys fan at the end of the first half. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren
The second half saw much of the same seesaw action on display in the first. Seattle tied the game 17-17 midway through the third quarter with a Wilson trademark touchdown scramble. The Hawks briefly regained the lead late in the third, only to see Dallas tie it back up with a 56-yard field goal of their own to end the quarter.Seattle opened the fourth with a 48-yard field goal, pulling ahead of the Cowboys 23-20. Alas, it wasn’t to last: on the following drive the Romo/Murray combo resulted in another Dallas touchdown, putting the Cowboys up by four. Seattle took possession with 3:15 left in the game, but failed to convert on a fourth and six attempt. Dallas turned its next drive into another three points, giving Seattle the ball with 1:12 left to play. A promising start quickly turned sour as Wilson threw a pick to Dallas linebacker Rolando McClainon on the second play of the drive. The play sealed a Cowboy’s win, 30-23, leaving Seahawks fans bewildered.But while many view the result as a skin-of-the-teeth win for Dallas, the stats tell another story: the Seahawks’ are lucky their loss wasn’t bigger than it was. Seattle’s offense was pretty miserable. Wilson threw for only 126 yards, with a completion rate of 50 percent. The running game didn’t fare much better, with only 80 yards on 18 carries. Dallas’ offense, on the other hand, did far better. Romo threw for 250 yards, while the running backs, led by Murray, ran for 162 yards. The Cowboys’ net yardage at 401 was nearly double that of the Seahawks’ 206.Moreover, Dallas consistently outperformed when the pressure was on. Seattle’s third-down conversion rate was a mere 38 percent (5 of 13). Dallas’ was 59 percent (10 of 17). Red-zone efficiency was even worse: Dallas went three for four, versus Seattle’s one for three. The Cowboys took the cake on almost every other crucial stat: time of possession (37:19 vs. 22:21); penalties (six for 46-yards vs. nine for 58-yards); and first downs (23 vs. 9).Seattle’s defense also left a lot to be desired. Yes, they made some big, explosive plays: an epic blocked punt in the first quarter and later two forced fumbles that all converted into points on the board. But they gave up 401 net yards. They failed to stop Murray from accruing 35 more yards than the entire Hawks’ squad combined. They failed to reign in Romo’s 65 percent completion rate and the team’s 59% third-down conversion rate. What saved the Hawks from a blowout was a spectacular effort, as usual, from their own special teams. Without the performance, Seattle would have likely finished the game 30-16. And based on the post-game presser, the Hawks knew it: “We had no rhythm,” said head coach Pete Carroll.But even the best drop a game or two on occasion. Here’s hoping today’s game against an ascendant Dallas is merely an exception.The win advances Dallas to a five and one record. Seattle drops to three and two. The Hawks begin a two-week road trip with a game next Sunday against the one and three St. Louis Rams. Be sure to check out every nailbiting moment from yesterday’s game in our slideshow.