Seahawks at Cowboys

When: Sunday, 10 a.m., Cowboys Stadium

Records: Seahawks 2-4, Cowboys 4-2

TV: KCPQ/13 (Dick Stockton, Charles Davis, Nischelle Turner)

Radio: 710 ESPN-AM and KIRO-FM/97.3 (Steve Raible, Warren Moon, Jen Mueller)

Matchup microscope

Ratliff

Seahawks C Chris Spencer and OGs Rob Sims and Max Unger vs. Cowboys NT Jay Ratliff: Wait just a pass-rushing minute, shouldn’t this be LT Damion McIntosh vs. OLB DeMarcus Ware? It was Ware, after all, who wore out the Seahawks with three sacks in last year’s game on Thanksgiving Day. But this season, it has been the pressure generated up the middle by Ratliff that has softened up the edge for Ware. Ratliff is not your typical 3-4 nose tackle because he weighs “only” 303 pounds. As Spencer explains it, Ratliff is like a defensive end playing nose tackle, because he uses his quickness to be disruptive.

One to watch

Seahawks secondary vs. Cowboys WR Miles Austin: Chad Johnson (450 yards in 2006). John Taylor (448 in 1989). Jerry Rice (442 in 1995). Austin (421 the past two weeks). Yes, only three receivers since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970 have put up more receiving yards in back-to-back games than the former rookie free agent from Monmouth (N.J.) University. Needless to say, Pro Bowl CB Marcus Trufant’s return for the first time this season comes at a very appropriate time. Austin followed his club-record 250-yard game two weeks ago with a 171-yard effort last week. And three of his four touchdowns in those games have come on short routes, because Austin is so difficult to tackle after the catch. But then Austin is no stranger to the Seahawks. He returned a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown in the 2006 wild-card playoff game at Qwest Field.

Fun to watch

Seahawks MLB David Hawthorne. The kid from Corsicana, Texas, will start because Lofa Tatupu is out for the season after having shoulder surgery on Thursday. Stepping in for the heart and soul of the Seahawks defense is no easy task, but Hawthorne is a hitter and playmaker – as evidenced by his 16-tackle performance in his first NFL start while subbing for Tatupu in Week 3 against the Chicago Bears. This start will be witnessed by 35-40 friends and family members.

Notable

The Seahawks are beginning a post-bye stretch where they play four of their next five games on the road. … LB Leroy Hill returns for the first time since tearing a groin in the first half of the Seahawks’ season opener. Last year, he got a neck injury that ended his season while making a goal-line hit on Cowboys RB Marion Barber in the Thanksgiving Day game in Dallas. … Seahawks P Jon Ryan is second in the NFL in average (49.9 yards) and third in net average (41.4). … McIntosh, who was signed Oct. 12, will make his first start for the Seahawks – as their fifth option at left tackle. … Seahawks RB Edgerrin James needs 15 rushing yards to move past Marcus Allen into 10th place on the NFL’s all-time list. … Both teams are minus-2 in turnover ratio. … Ware has four sacks in the past two games after going sackless in the Cowboys’ first four games. … FS Jordon Babineaux and LB Aaron Curry lead the Seahawks in tackles (36), while LB James Bradie paces the Cowboys (72).


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