Seattle head coach Pete Carroll catches a pass during pre-game practice.

 The Seattle Seahawks take the field. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-LindgrenThe Dallas Cowboys

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.

Dallas linebacker Ronaldo McClain intercepts a pass intended for Luke Willson with :42 remaining in the fourth quarter, ending the game. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren

Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman warms up before the game.

Seattle fans hold out helmets for autographs before the game.

Seattle starting receiver Doug Baldwin signs autographs before facing off against the Dallas Cowboys at home in Seattle, WA.

A Dallas fan cheers during the game.

Seagals cheerleaders perform as part of pre-game festivities.

Seattle star running back Marshawn Lynch pumps up the crowd as he takes the field before the game.

Marshawn Lynch completes a five yard carry in the first quarter.

Seattle receiver Jermaine Kearse completes a 53-yard pass in the first quarter.

A Seattle fan, quasi-mimicking the grim reaper, holds up an impaled Tony Romo doll. Photo by Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren

Dallas safety Barry Church breaks up a pass to Doug Baldwin on a third and eleven for Seattle.

Seattle kicker Steven Hauschka completes a 33-yard field goal in the first quarter.

Dallas quarterback Tony Romo lies on the field after taking a big hit in the first quarter.

Seahawks’ linebacker Mike Morgan runs in for a touchdown following a punt block by Doug Baldwin.

Dallas running back Joseph Randle runs for 38 yards in the first quarter.

Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman attempts to end a 38 yard run by Dallas’ J. Randle.

Dallas tight-end Jason Witten is downed by Seattle safety Kam Chancellor in the first quarter after 21-yard completion.

Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson tosses the ball away under pressure.

Seattle’s Kam Chancellor stops a run by Dallas RB DeMarco Murray.

Dallas’ Gavin Escobar catches a two-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.

Dallas running back DeMarco Murray carries for 10 yards in the second quarter.

Seattle receiver Jermaine Kearse picks up five yard in the second quarter.

Seattle receiver Bryan Walters catches a five yard pass from Wilson in the second quarter.

Dallas quarterback Tony Romo throws a pass in the second quarter.

Seahawks’ linebacker Malcolm Smith breaks up a pass intended for Dallas receiver Jason Witten in the second quarter.

Dallas running back Lance Dunbar runs for a gain in the second quarter.

Dallas wide receiver Dez Bryant picks up 23-yards late in the second quarter.

Seattle fans express worry in the second quarter.

Seattle head coach Pete Carroll argues with a referee in the second quarter.

Percy Harvin compleetes a short pass for -4 yards at the end of the second quarter.

A dancer twirls a large pink ribbon during halftime festivities.

A fan with a particularly peculiar outfit watches the third quarter.

Marshawn Lynch rungs up for 32 yards in the third quarter.

Seattle defensive tackle Jordan Hill recovers a Tony Romo snap fumble in the third quarter.

Seattle defensive tackle Jordan Hill celebrates a fumble recovery in the third quarter.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson rushes for a nine-yard touchdown to tie the game 17-17 in the third quarter.

Seattle kicker Steven Hauschka completes a 33-yard field goal in the third quarter to put Seattle up 20-17.

Dallas QB Tony Romo throws a pass in the third quarter.

Dallas fullback Tyler Clutts completes a 1-yard catch as he’s tackled by Seahawks’ defensive end Michael Bennett in the third quarter.

Fans cheer in the third quarter.

Seattle tight-end Luke Willson completes a one-yard pass from Wilson to end the third quarter.

A Seagal cheerleader reacts to a bad play from the home team in the fourth quarter.

Seattle fans cheer on the Hawks’ defense in the fourth quarter.

Dallas QB Tony Romo scrambles in the fourth quarter.

Dallas punter Chris Jones punts the ball off to Seattle wide receiver Bryan Walters in the fourth quarter.

Dallas’ Romo throws a five-yard pass to De Marco MurrayBryant in the fourth quarter.

Dallas running back DeMarco Murrary rushes for a gain in the fourth quarter.

Dallas running back DeMarco Murrary rushes for a 15-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter, putting Dallas up 24-20.

Dallas running back DeMarco Murrary stiff arms Seattle defender Kevin WIlliams late in the fourth quarter.

Dallas fans cheer for their team after winning 30-23.

Dallas linebacker Ronaldo McClain intercepts a pass intended for Luke Willson with :42 remaining in the fourth quarter, ending the game.

Dallas fans celebrate their win against Seattle.

Seattle fans embrace after Sunday’s 30-23 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

A Seattle fan reacts to Sunday’s 30-23 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

Fans from opposing teams celebrate/rue their respestive situations.

Dallas running back DeMarco Murrary exits the field after his team’s 30-23 victory over the Seahawks in Seattle, WA.

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