The Seahawks traveled to Oakland in Week 8, hoping to extend their winning streak to three games.
A recap of the Seahawks’ 38-17 loss to the Cowboys on Sunday:
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Tony Romo. Just call the Cowboys’ quarterback Mr. November. Romo ran his win streak in the 11th month of the year to an even dozen by completing 21 of 36 passes for 256 yards and three touchdowns. He has had three-plus TD passes eight times during the run – including his past two games against the Seahawks.
Sunday, when the Seahawks didn’t get enough pressure on him, Romo waited patiently for his receivers to get open. When the Seahawks did get pressure on him, Romo stepped up in the pocket or slide out of it to buy time and complete the pass anyway.
“He’s a nimble quarterback,” is the way Seahawks coach Jim Mora put it. “He’s able to maneuver in the pocket and create time.”
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: Make it two plays, and make them Romo’s back-to-back completions to his tight ends in the third quarter. Facing a second-and-21 situation after wide receiver Patrick Crayton had fumbled the handoff on an end around, Romo went to Martellus Bennett for 13 yards on second down and then to Jason Witten for 9 yards on third down. First down, Cowboys, on their way to a touchdown that made it 28-10.
Defense: The Seahawks needed a little love on this day, and middle linebacker David Hawthorne provided it with a fumble-forcing sack of Romo in the fourth quarter. Nose tackle Colin Cole recovered, and the Seahawks scored two plays later – on Matt Hasselbeck’s 4-yard pass to fullback Justin Griffith.
Special teams: This one is as obvious as it easy – Crayton’s 82-yard punt return for a touchdown, which ran the Cowboys’ lead to 35-10. Read more »
The Cowboys pushed their lead to 38-10 by driving 41 yards in seven plays to a 40-yard Nick Folk field goal. The drive started with Tony Romo passing 17 yards to Patrick Crayton. It also included a 15-yard run by Marion Barber. It stalled when Romo threw incomplete to Roy Williams on third down.
After the Seahawks’ ensuing possession stalled, the defense set the proverbial table for the offense. Middle linebacker David Hawthorne got to Romo for a fumble-forcing sack and nose tackle Colin Cole recovered the ball at the Cowboys’ 7. Two plays later, Matt Hasselbeck passed 4 yards to fullback Justin Griffith for the TD.
The Seahawks threatened again, driving from their own 8 to the Cowboys’ 31. But Nate Burleson fumbled after taking a first-down pass from Hasselbeck and linebacker Victor Butler recovered at the Dallas 17.
Cowboys 35-10. But it took a while.
The Cowboys finally scored – with 2:39 left in the quarter – on Tony Romo’s 3-yard pass to Miles Austin. The nine-play, 62-yard drive included a passes of 13 yards and 9 yards to tight ends Martellus Bennett and Jason Witten, which allowed the Cowboys to overcome a seond-and-21 situation. It also included a third pass interference call on Marcus Trufant, this one against Roy Williams in the end zone to give the Cowboys a first-and-goal. The TD came two plays later.
And four plays after that, it was Cowboys 35-10, as Patrick Crayton returned a Jon Ryan punt 82 yards for a TD.
Adding injury to insult, Matt Hasselbeck was drilled by Cowboys defensive end Jason Hatcher on the third-down play and then attended to by the medical staff before jogging off the field. On the Cowboys’ previous possession, cornerback Ken Lucas got a shoulder sting making a tackle on Felix Jones.
Hasselbeck returned, only to get sacked twice on the final two plays of the quarter – first by linebacker Keith Brooking, then by linebacker DeMarcus Ware.
The Cowboys went to the locker room with a 21-10 lead as they scored twice in the quarter and the Seahawks also added a TD.
The Cowboys scored five plays into the quarter, as Marion Barber went off right guard to get the touchdown. There were a couple of big third-down plays, as Tony Romo and Miles Austin hooked up for a 16-yard gain on third-and-11 and Marcus Trufant was flagged for pass interference on Austin on third-and-8.
The Seahawks, however, answered with an 80-yard drive that was highlighted by three big plays on third downs: Matt Hasselbeck to tight end John Carlson for 13 yards on third-and-4; Hasselbeck to Nate Burleson for 36 yards on third-and-10; and Hasselbeck to Deion Branch for 23 yards, and the score, on third-and-8. Burleson made a nice grab against Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman, while Branch scored the TD despite tight coverage from Cowboys nickel back Orlando Scandrick.
The Cowboys missed an opportunity to answer – literally – on their next possession as Nick Folk was right wide on a 48-yard field-goal attempt. But the Seahawks could not capitalize, as linebacker Bobby Carpenter blitzed and beat Justin Forsett to drop Hasselbeck for a 5-yard sack on third down.
After that, the Cowboys drove 65 yards to another TD – this one a 7-yard pass from Romo to Roy Williams. The biggest play was a 20-yard pass interference on Trufant, who was run over by Austin on a third-and-9 play. The TD also was questionable, as Williams lost the ball after the catch. But the officials reviewed the play and the score stood. Romo also hooked up with Austin for a 16-yard gain on third-and-10.
Defensive tackle Craig Terrill is among the Seahawks’ inactive players. That means run-stuffing D-tackle Red Bryant is active. This is the first time Terrill has been inactive this season.
Other than that, there are no surprises for the Seahawks:
- CB Travis Fisher
- SS C.J. Wallace
- RB Louis Rankin
- OG Mike Gibson
- OT Sean Locklear
- TE Cameron Morrah
- 3rd QB: Mike Teel
Inactive for the Cowboys:
- CB/KR Allen Rossum
- LB Jason Williams
- OG Montrae Holland
- OL Duke Peterson
- OT Pat McQuistan
- LB Curtis Johnson
- 3rd QB: Stephen McGee
This isn’t just the Lone Star state, it’s a state-of-football-mind environment where you never know who you’ll run into.
On the bus ride from the hotel to the stadium? Ring of Honor defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy.
Walking across the bowels-of-the-stadium parking lot? Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett.
At the next stall in the men’s room? Former Cowboys running back Calvin Hill.
At the 45-yard line during pregame warm-ups? Hall of Fame QB Warren Moon and Tez chatting with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Greetings from Cowboys Stadium – which is in Arlington, not Dallas. It’s a beautiful day, with the temperature expected to be in the mid-70s by kickoff.
We – Tony Ventrella, Kenton Olson and I – were here yesterday to tape a video segment for Seahawks.com. But that was from the parking lot of the $1.2 billion structure that some locals refer to as “Death Star.” Now, we’re inside, where the video screen you’ve undoubtedly heard so much about really is overpowering – no matter which of the seven levels you might be sitting in.
The Seahawks aren’t being given much of a chance in this one – nationally and especially locally. The predictions in today’s Dallas Morning News are 30-17, 30-14, 35-10, 24-16, 31-14, 30-17, 28-10 and 31-16. All Cowboys, of course.
To shock the football world, the Seahawks are going to have to find some offensive balance, give Matt Hasselbeck time to throw against a rejuvenated Cowboys pass rush and be able to withstand everything the Dallas offensive can throw – and run – at them.
“Explosive plays” definitely will be needed. Those, according to offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, are runs of at least 12 yards and pass plays of at least 16. The Seahawks have produced 30 in their first six games, but only eight in the run game – and just two in the past three games; none by former Cowboys running back Julius Jones.
We’ll be back later with the inactives for the game.