Cowboys, Seahawks clash after season-defining wins
It’s not often that Week 3 of the NFL season provides a matchup of teams with a common opponent.
But that will be the case Sunday afternoon when the Dallas Cowboys play at the Seattle Seahawks.
Both teams have already played, and beaten, the Atlanta Falcons.
The Seahawks (2-0) traveled to Atlanta for their season opener, coming away with a 38-25 victory as Russell Wilson completed 31 of 35 passes for 322 yards and four touchdowns.
The Cowboys (1-1) played host to the Falcons last Sunday, rallying from a 20-point deficit for a 40-39 victory on Greg Zuerlein’s 46-yard field goal as time expired. Dak Prescott became the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for more than 400 yards and rush for three touchdowns in the same game.
“Those are the moments, when you’re sitting on the porch at the end of the journey, you’ll look back on,” coach Mike McCarthy said of his first victory with the Cowboys. “I mean, it was a great regular-season win for us, no doubt about it. To come early in the season like this, I think there is definitely an opportunity to build off this win.”
The Cowboys opened the season with a 20-17 road loss to the Los Angeles Rams. And trailing 39-24 with 7:57 left in the fourth against the Falcons, it seemed like the Cowboys would drop to 0-2.
But Prescott was 34-of-47 passing for 450 yards and Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 89 yards and a touchdown to rally the Cowboys.
“Obviously, way better than starting 0-2, but going 1-1, and having a lot of confidence after we put ourselves in such a big hole,” Prescott said. “We just stayed at it, and everybody believes in each other. That was huge in so many ways.”
The Seahawks defeated New England 35-30 last Sunday night, as Wilson threw for five TDs and the injury-wracked defense stopped Patriots quarterback Cam Newton at the 1-yard line on the game’s final play.
“It’s an extraordinary moment for football players and for a team. You either come through or you don’t,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said of the late stop. “There’s so much intensity in that moment. The guys on the field will never forget it.”
The victory came at a cost. Defensive end Bruce Irvin and safety/nickel cornerback Marquise Blair suffered anterior cruciate ligament tears and are out for the season. In addition, safety Quandre Diggs was ejected late in the first quarter of the victory for a helmet-to-helmet hit.
The Seahawks managed just one sack and five hits on Newton and have already allowed 831 yards passing, the second-highest total by any team through two weeks in NFL history, according to Pro Football Reference. The Falcons’ Matt Ryan torched them for 450 yards in Week 1.
“We’ve given up too many explosives. … We’ve got to do a better job there and we have to execute better,” said Carroll. “We gave away, I don’t know, maybe 80, 100 yards in situations there that we didn’t need to give up. And we have to play cleaner.”
While the Cowboys had a pandemic-limited crowd of 21,708 for their home opener — 27 percent of capacity at 80,000-seat AT&T Stadium — the stands were empty at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field, limiting the Seahawks’ advantage of the “12th Man.”
“You missed the fun of it all,” Wilson said. “This game is meant to be played in front of thousands and thousands of people, it’s so special.”
Carroll was one of three NFL coaches fined $100,000 for not adhering to the league’s protocols for mask-wearing during games.
“We wear masks all day at practice, we wear them around the building,” Carroll said. “I know it’s extremely important to wear masks. Sometimes you’ve just got to be reminded. Sometimes you’ve got to get coached up.”
Cowboys starting left tackle Tyron Smith continues to battle a neck injury and missed practice on Wednesday, as did cornerbacks Trevon Diggs (shoulder) and Chido Awuzie (hamstring). Awuzie is expected to be sidelined for multiple weeks.
–Field Level Media