Last week was a step in the wrong direction for Seahawks, as they never seriously threatened the Bengals in a disappointing home loss. Last week was even worse for the Dallas Cowboys, who play the Seahawks this Sunday. The Cowboys were embarrassed by the Philadelphia Eagles 34-7, with Philadelphia controlling the ball for 42 minutes to Dallas’ 18. The Cowboys fell to 3-4 and are in danger of falling out of the playoff race. They return home and will be hoping to get back on track against the fading Seahawks.
Dallas quarterback Tony Romo has been up-and-down this season, but will have a favorable matchup against the battered Seahawk secondary. Romo miraculously rallied the Cowboys with a punctured lung to defeat the 49ers (San Francisco’s only loss this year) in week two, only to blow what appeared to be a sure win the next week against Detroit. His up and down play has frustrated many Cowboy fans (and fantasy football owners), but he is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFC, throwing to one of the game’s best receiving corps. Receivers Miles Austin and Dez Bryant are explosive, big-play threats who (if they could manage to stay healthy) have the talent to join Romo and Cowboy tight end Jason Witten in the Pro Bowl on a yearly basis.
With cornerbacks Marcus Trufant and Walter Thurmond lost for the season due to injury, the Seahawks now start former Canadian Football Leaguer Brandon Browner and rookie 5th round draft pick Richard Sherman. Browner has been a pleasant surprise for the Seahawks this year, using his 6’4 frame to jam, jostle, and hassle opposing receivers. He’ll get even better with more experience at the NFL level. Sherman made his first start of the season last week, recording five tackles, intercepting a pass, and playing much better than I had expected. Both Browner and Sherman have talent, and should develop into solid NFL corners with playing time and further coaching.
Although Seahawk Head Coach Pete Carroll has been getting good performances out of his inexperienced cornerbacks, he has been getting even better performances from second-year safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. NFL teams have already begun to game plan away from Thomas, but the fleet-footed safety still leads the team in tackles. He is on his way to becoming one of the elite safeties in the NFL, and is living up to the expectations that come with being a first round draft pick. Chancellor, Seattle’s 5th round pick last year, has flourished in his first season as a starter, recording just two less tackles than Thomas, leading the team with three interceptions, and providing an intimidating, physical presence in the secondary. It will be interesting to see how Thomas and Chancellor fare against Dallas’ explosive passing game.
On the other side of the ball, Dallas boasts All-World pass rusher DeMarcus Ware. Ware already has 12 sacks this season after leading the NFL with 15.5 last year. He will face the youngest offensive line in the NFL and the team that has lost the most yards due to sacks this season. Obviously shutting him down will be a priority for Seattle, but I’m not sure the Seahawks can unless they double or even triple team him. He’s a monster – and words can’t adequately describe him. Watch this video to get the picture.
After throwing for over 300 yards in just 2.5 quarters last week, it appeared that Tarvaris Jackson’s injured pectoral was more than healthy enough to play (he did not start the game because of the injury). He will start this Sunday, and will look to build on what has been an impressive last couple showings. Along with his 323 yard performance last week, Jackson threw for 319 yards three weeks ago against the Falcons and was having a good game against the Giants two weeks ago before leaving due to injury. Jackson’s ability to call his own plays out of an up-tempo and often no huddle offense has breathed life into the struggling Seattle offense. He has been a warrior this year, taking hit after hit, overcoming injuries and fan skepticism to have me asking myself “could this guy be more than just a stop-gap quarterback?” After all, Seahawk legend Matt Hasselbeck was benched early in his career in favor of veteran Trent Dilfer, and didn’t start playing well into having several years to settle in. Jackson already appears to have settled, and I am looking for him to have another strong outing against what is an average Dallas secondary. I’m becoming a fan of this guy.
On paper, the Cowboys look to be the favorites. They are more talented than Seattle, are at home, and have extra to prove after their embarrassing loss to Philadelphia last week. This Sunday could be another long day on the couch for Seahawks fans.
About the Author
Written by Erik Olsoy
Erik was born in Columbus, Ohio during the only Ohio State football victory over Michigan in the 1980s, but moved to Washington state and grew up there. His loyalty to Ohio State remains strong, but his strongest allegiances developed toward Seattle sports. Though he recently graduated from Boston College, he has not yet been converted to the ways of New England Sportsdom, and only roots for the Red Sox against the Yankees because the Yankees are the root of all evil.