Tony Romo and the Cowboys wasted some chances early but scored enough points in the second half to hold off the Seattle Seahawks. The result was a much-needed win for the Cowboys and another disappointing loss for the Seahawks. As usual in Seahawks games, Seattle played well in several phases of the game, notably the running game and red-zone defense, but could not overcome three interceptions thrown by Tarvaris Jackson to keep pace with the Cowboys.
Romo and the Cowboys marched up and down the field in the first half, netting 304 yards of offense, but had just two field goals to show for it. On one play, Romo looked like he might run for a touchdown, but slid just before he got into the end zone to avoid a hit. Romo, who has been nursing broken ribs (and at one point a punctured lung), was booed by the anxious crowd in Dallas because of the effort – and the Cowboys had no right to be happy with the 6-6 score at the half.
The Seahawks could find no answer for Romo or Cowboy running back Demarco Murray in the second half either, and the Cowboys scored two touchdowns and a field goal to put the game out of reach at 23-6 near the beginning of the 4th quarter. A late Marshawn Lynch touchdown gave Seattle some hope, but Tarvaris Jackson’s last interception of the game sealed the win for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys were better on paper than the wounded and incredibly young Seahawks, they had home field advantage, and they took care of business. In order to upset good teams on the road, NFL teams need to take care of the ball, capitalize on good scoring chances, and play tough defense. This formula is not something the Seahawks have excelled at this year, as they generally can only accomplish one of those three phases per game.
An encouraging sight for Seahawk fans was the emergence of Marshawn Lynch and the running game. Lynch recorded his first 100-yard game of the season against Dallas, rushing for 135 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries for an average of 5.9 yards per carry. Lynch’s up and down play (and health) has shown both what he is capable of, and how inconsistent Seattle has been on offense. I expect Lynch to start putting up better numbers during the second half of the season as the team gets more and more comfortable with the new running scheme installed by offensive line coach Tom Cable. Additionally, the Seahawk offensive line should continue to improve as rookies John Moffitt and James Carpenter adjust to the NFL.
Right when I start to jump on the Tarvaris Jackson bandwagon, he throws three interceptions and struggles to get the offense moving. The Seahawks finally got the ground game going, allowed just one sack (none to Cowboys star DeMarcus Ware), and everything pointed to a big day for the offense. So now what? The blame will go on Tarvaris Jackson. I don’t like it, but that’s the way things go. Quarterbacks get too much credit for a team’s success, and they get too much blame for defeats. The Cowboys defense gives up just 10 yards more per game than the best defense in the NFC (San Francisco), has great personnel, and a great coach (Rob Ryan, brother of Jet’s head coach Rex Ryan). It doesn’t surprise me at all that the Cowboys were able to stifle the Seahawks.
All in all, this was just another week at the office for the Seattle Seahawks. As Seahawk coach Pete Carroll said after the game, “you can’t win when you’re minus in the turnover game, and that’s what happened today.” Jackson threw three interceptions, Romo threw none. The Cowboys, a team with playoff plans, found a way to win the game in the second half. The Seahawks, one of the youngest teams in the NFL that is currently undergoing a massive overhaul, shot itself in the foot with penalties and turnovers in the second half. There’s still a long ways to go for the Seahawks, but I don’t think any experts would have expected a different result in this game.
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.