The blind side hit Cowboys LB Sean Lee was on the receiving end of represented how this game went for Dallas. By the time Lee and the Cowboys realized what hit them, it was too late.
In my Cowboys/Seahawks game preview blog, I pointed out that I thought it would be critical for the Cowboys to get off to a fast start in order to a) take Marshawn Lynch out of the game and b) keep the crowd noise down a little in Seattle. In the blog, I also stated that I thought Murray needed to get at least 100 yards for Dallas to win. He finished with 44 yards.
Instead of getting off to a fast start, the Cowboys imploded quickly through special teams blunders.
1. On the opening kickoff, Felix Jones came out and threw some gasoline on the Seattle crowd’s fire by fumbling the ball away. And I don’t mean a little drop of the ball on the turf either. That ball popped out like it were shot from a cannon. The Dallas defense came in and did a nice job of keeping it to only a FG but momentum was all Seattle right off the bat.
2. Another Dallas special teams debacle occurred in the first quarter when the Seahawks blocked a punt for a TD. That makes 10 points on the Cowboys special teams and that’s actually all the points Seattle would have needed to win the game. But once they had Dallas in a hole, they went on to blow them out 27-7.
As a result of the bad start and special teams blunders, Dallas faced the worse case scenario:
- In an early hole, forced to rely heavily on Romo throwing and not giving the ball as much to Murray. Murray only had 44 yards on 12 carries and just 3 carries in the 2nd half. Far short of his 130+ yards last year against the Seahawks.
- The Seattle home crowd very loud and worked up smelling an upset. The noise appeared to bother communication on offense particularly the offensive line.
- With an early lead, rookie QB Russell Wilson only passed when they wanted him to while avoiding pressure from the Cowboys defense. Wilson finished 15/20 and 151 yards with 0 INTs. He was very efficient at QB.
- Seattle Pounding away with RB Marshawn Lynch who finished with 122 yards and 26 carries. The Seahawks had 9 more minutes of possession time than the Cowboys.
Give more than receive:
In this game, Dallas managed to limit penalties and finished with only 5 – 47 yards. However while giving Seattle an INT and a fumble, Dallas failed to ever take the ball away from the Seahawks in the form of a turnover. They had 3 INTs last year against Seattle.
Dallas heads home 1-1 and an important 1-0 in the NFC East division.
There were lessons to be learned in Seattle but I think the main one may just be:
Draw first blood particularly on the road. Slow starts and blind side hits, can be a
bitch uh problem.