ARLINGTON, Texas – A recap of the Seahawks’ 23-13 loss to the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on Sunday:
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Jason Witten. Say what? He only had four catches, two in each half. But it wasn’t the catches the Cowboys’ tight end made; it was when he made them – especially in one decisive segment of that decisive second half.
The first came when a blown coverage by the Seahawks left Witten wide open for a 33-yard touchdown on the Cowboys’ first possession of the second half. The score off the seam route gave the Cowboys a 13-6 lead they would not relinquish.
“We busted on the seam route, which was a big play of the game,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “We made a mistake on that seam route to Witten and he gets an easy play for a touchdown.”
Witten’s second catch in the half – again on a seam route – went for a 23-yard gain on a third-and-6 play that followed the first of Tarvaris Jackson’s three interceptions and proved pivotal on the Cowboys’ six-play, 40-yard drive to Romo’s 6-yard TD pass to wide receiver Laurent Robinson.
Two big catches, two quick touchdowns. Game over, before it really was.
Honorable mention must go to Romo, who overcame a mistaken-marred start to finish with 279 yards and the two TDs while completing 19 of 31 passes; Cowboys rookie running back DeMarco Murray, who became the first back this season to crack triple digits (139) against the Seahawks defense; and Seahawks back Marshawn Lynch, who ran for a season-high 135 yards and the team’s only TD.
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: Lynch’s 4-yard TD run. Yes, it was too little and too late (with 6:12 left in the game). But it was a rightful reward for his hard-running afternoon and produced the Seahawks’ lone touchdown. In fact, Lynch also had the only TD in last week’s loss to the Bengals and also a 1-yarder in the pre-bye week upset of the Giants (he sat out the post-bye loss to the Browns because of back spasms).
Defensive: Richard Sherman’s fumble-forcing hit on Dez Bryant, just when it appeared the Cowboys wide receiver was about the cross the goal line in the second quarter. Bryant took a short pass from Romo and had carried it 23 yards to the Seahawks’ 1-yard line. That’s when he found Sherman, the Seahawks rookie cornerback, rather than the end zone. Roy Lewis recovered the fumble, and the Seahawks then drove 81 yards in 13 plays to a 32-yard field by Steven Hauschka that tied the score at 6.
Special teams: Pick a Jon Ryan punt. All he did was average 61 yards on three punts, with a net average of 58.3 yards and a long of 70 yards. But let’s go with Ryan’s first punt, which was “only” a 58-yarder. But it turned into a net of 62 yards because Kennard Cox dropped Bryant for a 4-yard loss on the return – at the Dallas 2-yard line.
Carroll reported no significant injuries in the game.
Lynch’s 135 yards were a season high, as was the team’s total of 162 rushing yards.
The Seahawks have forced three turnovers in their past two games and Sherman has played a big part in all three. In addition to his fumble-forcing hit on Bryant, he also intercepted a pass in last week’s game against the Bengals and broke up another pass that was picked off by strong safety Kam Chancellor.
Free safety Earl Thomas and middle linebacker David Hawthorne, who played their high and college football in Texas, each had a game-high eight tackles. Thomas had eight solo stops and Hawthorne six.
The Seahawks did not sack Romo and only got two hits on the Cowboys’ QB.
The Seahawks had the edge in time of possession – just barely (30:33) – for the first time this season.
The Seahawks averaged 6.2 yards on their 61 offensive plays, second only to their per-play average against the Falcons (7.0).
There were 17 penalties called in the game – 10 for 88 yards by the Seahawks; seven for 82 by the Cowboys.
Since starting 4-2 last season, the Seahawks are 5-13 in regular-season games.
The Cowboys (six of 14) converted three times as many third-down situations (two of 10) as the Seahawks.
Jackson threw three interceptions in a game for the third time in his career.
YOU DON’T SAY
“I’m really disappointed where we are; very disappointed. We thought we could be better, of course. I don’t know any other way to think.” – Carroll after the Seahawks slipped to 2-6