Seahawks vs. Cowboys - Instant Analysis

Win or lose, there is much to learn after each game. What happened on the key plays that turned the game? How did the team fare in individual matchups? Who, if anyone, was injured and how did his replacement(s) fare? These are just of the questions greater Seattle-area resident and football scout Rob Rang will tackle post-game each week for SeahawkFootball.com...

10. There's no point in sugar-coating it, the Dallas' top-ranked run game walked into Seattle and pushed around the Seahawks, sparking the Cowboys' 30-23 win in Century Link. By committing early to the run, the Cowboys ran for twice as many yards (165) as the Seahawks (85), including, of course, DeMarco Murray's game-winning touchdown.

9. The biggest play of the game was a terrific connection by the Cowboys' Tony Romo and Terrance Williams to convert a 3rd and 20 on what wound up being the game-winning drive. What spectacular touch and vision from Romo... and the ability to drag the feet from Williams. As the defending Super Bowl champions, the Seahawks are going to have to endure some Herculean efforts and this play was one.

8. The Seahawks have just two interceptions through five games. Only the Jaguars, Jets and Saints - with one each - have less.

7. Two years ago, the Seahawks were vulnerable to opposing tight ends, including in their season-ending playoff loss to Tony Gonzalez and the Atlanta Falcons. Last year, the club was noticeably better. The Seahawks aren't getting gashed down the seams by tight ends on a consistent basis are being beaten once in the red zone. Seattle has surrendered six touchdowns to tight ends in five games, including two Sunday to Gavin Escobar and Jason Witten.

6. What a smart momentum call from the Seahawks to send Doug Baldwin on the punt block blitz in the first quarter. Tony Romo had just taken a monster, clean hit from Bobby Wagner. With their star quarterback ailing, Seattle anticipated that Dallas would be distracted and cheated Baldwin inside at the snap rather than having him cover the gunner. With a clean release off the snap Baldwin blocked the punt easily, setting up the easy touchdown.

5. It was good that Baldwin had a big play on special teams because his dropped pass in the end zone from Doug Baldwin on first possession of the game. Baldwin was Seattle's most reliable receiver during last year's Super Bowl run but he's dropped multiple passes through the first five games this season.

4. Tripping? Are you trippin'? I'll have to look up the rules but it was my impression that a defender could swipe at the feet of ball-carriers. The penalty called on Richard Sherman was surprising call that only added salt to the wound after Tony Romo's first throw in his direction went for a big gain to Dez Bryant.

3. Opponents have struggled containing Michael Bennett's agility as a pass rusher but he also showed impressive balance and fluidity when making a clean open-field tackle on Dallas tight end Tyler Clutts while dropping back into coverage in the third quarter.

2. Though Wilson was often left scrambling yet again and absorbed some big hits after releasing passes, the Seahawks offensive line did a reasonable job against Dallas' pass rush, considering that Steve Schilling was making his first career start at center. The frenetic manner in which Wilson succeeds - buying time and keeping his eyes downfield - often makes Seattle's offensive line appear as though they're struggling more than they are. Interior defenders Tyrone Crawford and Henry Melton were especially effective, with Melton getting a rare pass batted down at the line of scrimmage off of Wilson in the third quarter. Seattle's most egregious miss in pass protection, however, wasn't by one of the Seahawks' offensive linemen but by tight end Cooper Helfet who was shook off the edge on Seattle's failed 4th down attempt.

1. The missed block from Helfet and inability of Luke Willson to come up with several contested throws in this game only makes it all the more obvious how much Seattle misses Zach Miller at tight end. Young players in the secondary may be similarly pushed into playing time given Maxwell's injury. Marcus Burley showed fluidity and speed in coverage but was lacks Maxwell's awareness and ball-skills.


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