When: Sunday, 10 a.m. PST, Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Record: Seahawks 2-5 and second in the NFC West; Cowboys 3-4 and tied for second in the NFC East
TV: Fox (channel 13 in Seattle), with Chris Myers, Tim Ryan and Jaime Maggio
Radio: 710 ESPN and 97.3 FM, with Steve Raible, Warren Moon and Jen Mueller
Rest of the West: 49ers (6-1) at Redskins; Rams (1-6) at Cardinals (1-6)
Seahawks offense vs. Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware: While this often will be Ware against either LT Russell Okung or RT James Carpenter, at some point just about everyone on the offense will be accountable for the Cowboys’ pass-rusher who already has 12 sacks this season; to go with 15½ last season and 20 in 2008. That’s because the Cowboys move Ware around, and he also gets around – looping inside, lining up on either side, spinning this way and that. So those responsible for Ware on any given snap will include TE Zach Miller, FB Michael Robinson, RBs Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett, OGs Robert Gallery and John Moffitt and even QB Tarvaris Jackson if the Seahawks go with an empty backfield alignment.
One to watch
Seahawks CBs Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman vs. Cowboys WRs Miles Austin and Dez Bryant: Cowboys QB Tony Romo already has put the ball up 252 times, which ties for the 11th highest total in the NFL. While his favorite target remains security-blanket TE Jason Witten (40 receptions and three touchdowns), but Romo needs to do a better job of getting the ball to his big-play targets: Austin (26 receptions, 13.5-yard average and four TDs) and Bryant (22, 16.7 and four). The physical style of the 6-foot-4 Browner on the right side has allowed him to get into the heads of receivers the Seahawks already have faced, while Sherman will be making his second NFL start as the third option on the left side because of the season-ending injuries to Marcus Trufant and Walter Thurmond. But Sherman came up big last week against the Bengals, and not just because he’s 6-3.
Fun to watch
Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray vs. the Seahawks run defense: Murray exploded onto the NFL scene with a 253-yard rushing performance against the Rams two weeks ago in his first start for an injured Felix Jones. He had 74 last week against the Eagles, but on only eight carries. Those defenses, however, don’t play the run like the Seahawks do. They are allowing an average of 3.2 yards per carry to lead the league and have yet to allow a 100-yard rusher. In fact, only three of the Seahawks’ first seven opponents have topped 100 yards, as a team. Murray is averaging 6.9 yards per carry. So something will have to give.
One tough task
Romo vs. himself: When the Cowboys’ QB is good, he’s very, very good. But when he’s not, the Cowboys are in trouble. Romo has been described by more than one opponent as a gunslinger, but when he’s not shooting lights out, he can shoot his own team in the foot. He threw three TD passes in a Week 3 game against the Lions, but also had two of his three interceptions returned for TDs in the four-point loss. He threw for 345 yards and two TDs in Week 2 in San Francisco, when the Cowboys handed the 49ers their only loss. He also completed only 27 of 41 passes in a four-point loss to the Patriots in Week 6 and was 18 of 35 against the Eagles last week.
Ware has 84 sacks since the start of the 2006 season to lead all NFL players, including a career-high four last week. … The Seahawks’ defense has allowed the fewest second-half points (33) and touchdowns (two) in the league. … The Seahawks offense has scored 30 first-half points. … The Cowboys lead the series 8-4 and have won three of the past four games – including 38-17 and 34-9 victories in the past two meetings in 2009 and 2008, both in Texas. … Doug Baldwin leads the Seahawks with 25 receptions, which also ties him for the lead in the NFC among rookies. His per-catch average of 16.1 yards leads all NFL rookies. … LB Sean Lee leads the Cowboys in tackles (73), but is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game after dislocating a wrist in last week’s game. … MLB David Hawthorne is the Seahawks’ leading tackler (46) and followed closely by FS Earl Thomas (45). Both played their high school and college football in Texas.