Dallas 23, Seattle 13: Dallas Overcomes Malaise in Win
On paper, the Cowboys put together what looks like a solid win over the Seahawks on Sunday. Dallas broke a 6-6 halftime tie by forcing three second-half interceptions and finally managing a couple of touchdowns.
The big positive: DeMarco Murray is for real. He had 22 carries for 139 yards. He should have had more chances to score, but he looked solid all game.
However, by the time the Cowboys started looking good in the second half, many fans had to have a hand over their eyes. Most of the performances other than Murray’s were tough to watch.
Dallas saved some its worst plays for the return game.
Example #1: Dez Bryant decided to field a punt at his own 6. He had to catch the ball while running backward and ended up losing 4 yards.
Example #2: Last play of the first quarter. Kevin Ogletree took a kickoff eight yards deep in the end zone and tried to run it out. He made it to the 12.
Example #3: After Dallas took a 6-3 in the second, Leon Washington muffed the catch on the kickoff return. He recovered the ball but would have been stopped at the Seattle 5. But Jesse Holley stupidly committed an unnecessary roughness penalty, which gave Seattle the ball at the 20.
Example #4: After Seattle cut the Dallas lead to 23-13, Ogletree watched the ball bounce in the middle of the end zone. The problem: that’s a live ball. Fortunately, the ball rolled out of the back of the end zone, but it was a dumb play nevertheless.
The Cowboys also continued to have red zone woes. They managed to get the ball inside the 5 on their opening drive of the game, but Seattle held. Dan Bailey continued his streak with a 20-yard field goal.
After Seattle tied it at 3, Dallas got the ball to the Seattle 2 in the second quarter thanks to a 22-yard run by DeMarco Murray. Jason Garrett decided to call two play-action passes instead of having Murray try to run the ball in. The result: 20-yard field goal by Dan Bailey.
Tony Romo threw a slant to Dez Bryant in the middle of the second quarter, and Bryant looked like he would score. He fumbled instead. And though it was clear he fumbled, Garrett challenged the call. Sigh.
Seattle tied the game. Halftime: Dallas 6, Seattle 6. It should have been 17-3.
But the Cowboys managed to wake up. Their first offensive drive of the second half resulted in a touchdown from Romo to Jason Witten.
Then Jason Hatcher caught an interception off an odd deflection and returned the ball to the Seattle 40. That led to a six-play drive that resulted in another touchdown, this time from Romo to Laurent Robinson.
Terence Newman picked off Tarvaris Jackson on the next drive, leading to another field goal by Bailey.
With the Cowboys leading 23-6, some odd tension emerged, though. Brad Sham said on the radio that those three points could be critical, which was odd given that Dallas led by 17 with 11:22 left, has the self-professed best defensive coordinator in the league, and had not allowed a touchdown all game.
So, of course, Seattle marched 70 yards and scored its first touchdown of the game. Fortunately for Dallas, the drive took a total of five minutes. By the time Dallas punted on the next drive, just over two minutes were left.
The Seahawks put together a late drive, but Gerald Sensabaugh got his second pick of the year to end the drive and the game.
Dallas improves to 4-4 and will face Buffalo next week. The Bills struggled against the Jets today in a 27-11 loss.