The Seattle Seahawks(2-4) travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys(4-2) this Sunday.
INJURIES: Seahawks middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu's season was put to rest today as the team made him the second Pro Bowler to go to the injured reserve this week along with left tackle Walter Jones. Defensive end Patrick Kerney is listed as questionable with a groin injury, but should play after fully participating in Thursday's practice. On the bright side for Seattle, star cornerback Marcus Trufant will make his '09 debut after missing the 7 weeks with a back injury. Left guard Rob Sims and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck also look like a go despite nagging injuries. Offensive tackle Sean Locklear looks like he'll be held out another week with an ankle injury, but that could change with a speedy recovery over the next few days.
For the Cowboys, there are no major injuries to report(unless you count recently signed kick returner Allen Rossum, which I'm sure you don't).
PLAYER TO WATCH: Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant: Welcome back, Marcus. Glad you can make it. Now go cover Miles Austin, who has torn secondaries to shreds to the tune of nearly 500 yards in two games. Realistically, the Seahawks will probably play it safe and assign Trufant to cover Austin's counterpart, Roy Williams, who is suffering from both some sore ribs and an acute case of being overrated. If Trufant shows he's fully back, the team could show confidence in having him go one-on-one with the speedy Austin, but for right now, there appears to be a wait and see approach.
KEY MATCHUP: LT Damien McIntosh vs. OLB DeMarcus Ware: After a slow start, Ware is back on a tear with back-to-back impressive performances against Atlanta and Kansas City and a fat new contract. This week, he squares off against newly signed offensive tackle Damien McIntosh, who will be the Seahawks' fourth starting left tackle this season. Ware's been slowed by a foot injury, but that shouldn't hold him back from dominating McIntosh. McIntosh has started 111 games in his 9-year career with three different teams(KC, Miami and San Diego) and if he can protect Hasselbeck's blind side, that will go a long way for a Seahawks passing attack squaring off against one of the league's worst pass defenses.
OUTLOOK:Simply put, the Seahawks are far too beat up to keep things competitive against a solid Cowboys team at home. One of the underlying stories coming into this game is 'Hawks running back Julius Jones returning to Dallas to face his old foes, but that story will end quick unless Jones can somehow rejuvenate a run game averaging around 90 yards per game. The key will be protection on Matt Hasselbeck. If Hasselbeck can stay clean, this can turn into a shootout and the Seahawks could have a shot as Hasselbeck is much less careless with the football than Tony Romo is. That would appear to be wishful thinking. This Seahawks O-Line gave up 5 sacks against the Cardinals two weeks ago and unless McIntosh can channel his inner Anthony Munoz, it looks like the final nail in Seattle's season gets hammered down here.
SCORE: Cowboys 35, Seahawks 17.
About the Author
Written by Dave Leonardis
Born and raised in New Jersey, I've been writing since I was 10 and blogging since I was 18. I'm a huge sports nerd, following football, baseball and basketball in particular in close detail. My style is very upfront. I don't pull punches and I'm not shy about criticizing anything I feel deserves a proper tongue-lashing. If you're looking for someone who says what he wants, when he wants, then look no further than this guy right here.