By Sam Smith
The last time these two teams squared off, Ricardo Lockette left on a stretcher. Just a few minutes into this game, a strip sack from Cliff Avril sent Tony Romo thudding onto the turf. Dak Prescott came in and walked the Cowboys down the field while Romo tried in vain to return to the field. He would later be diagnosed with a broken vertebra in his back, and Prescott would finish 17-23, 115 yds. and a 17 yd. touchdown strike to tight end Jason Witten at 4:21 to go in the first quarter. Rookie Ezekiel Elliot looked comfortable behind Dallas’ offensive line, as he accumulated almost 50 yards easy, even going head to head with Kam Chancellor once.
Soon after the first quarter, Russell Wilson led the team into FG range, putting the team’s first points on the board. After a defensive stop, Wilson found Paul Richardson for a 9-yd fade route in the end zone for a touchdown. Dallas’s Dan Bailey would tie the game at 10 just before halftime, notching a FG to keep Dallas’ hopes alive.
The third quarter belonged to the Seahawks, as Wilson found Tyler Lockett for another 9-yd score, Hauschka again kicked a FG, and backup QB Trevone Boykin scampered for 16 yards and put another score up, making the game a 27-10 blowout. Dallas’ third stringers were able to finally put points up with just over 2:00 to go in the game, and that would be all she wrote, Seattle 27, Dallas 17.
Many fans outside of Seattle took to social media early on in the game, both to come to the defense of Cliff Avril (as many internet trolls perceived his hit on Romo as a dirty one), and to complain about a media blackout that prevented the game from being shown until the other nationally televised game finished. This meant a 10:30 EST start for many fans.
A closer look at the stats showed similar results in total yards (Seattle, 370, Dallas 332), time of possession (Seattle 30:29, Dallas 29:31) and total drives (Seattle 11, Dallas 12). However, Seattle finished with 20-31 on the day passing, Dallas completed more of their passes (finishing 28 for 41), even though the majority of those throws didn’t end up in touchdowns. That alone is a stat in which Seattle was not the victor, but Seattle has enough rushing yards (148) to get the job done ultimately.
After the game, Pete Carroll said that “There was a lot of stuff tonight that was real obvious; we ran the ball well…once we got going and took our shots, we really found a consistency that we hope to carry over to the regular season.” Carroll would later herald the continuity that both Boykin and Wilson showed, noting that the protection (by the offensive line) was excellent during scrambles, a key area the Seahawks excel in.
The Seahawks travel to Oakland for the preseason finale against the Raiders. In a game that figures to mean nothing to many teams across the league, it will be interesting to see how much playing time both teams give their starters, and if the recently departed Bruce Irvin goes up against his former teammates on offensive line.