4:00 p.m. ET
Key Coaching Decision #1: (DAL ball, tied 0-0 / first-and-10 DAL 40 / 5:37 Q1)
• Dak Prescott threw what was ruled to be an incomplete pass to wide receiver Michael Gallup. Seahawks safety Earl Thomas however appeared to have intercepted the pass. The ruling on the field was overturned with a successful Seattle challenge. While this turnover didn’t result in points for Seattle, as they had to punt, it set the tone for the game. Dallas was not going to be able to get chunk plays with Earl Thomas patrolling the secondary. This was one of Thomas’ two interceptions during the game.
• The game plan to throw short and intermediate passes crushed the Cowboys’ ability to move the ball downfield, score points and win the game. They lack firepower in the receiving and tight end corps. It appeared during the contest that Tavon Austin is the team’s only explosive player and they have to run plays especially for him to get him the ball (end arounds, etc.). It is evident that they lack the ability to sustain long drives. The coaching staff needs to re-evaluate this plan going forward. They didn’t make any significant changes to the game plan or make in-game adjustments at the half or at any other point during the game.
• Dallas used two of their timeouts in the second quarter on defense, both before successful Seattle third-down conversion attempts.
• Dallas has scored four offensive touchdowns in three games. They incorrectly assume that they can move the ball downfield without the aid of a big play.
• Seattle special teams was outstanding and Dallas had to start six of their first seven possession inside their own 25.
• The Seattle offense showed signs of life after being moribund over the last two weeks. This is due in part to:
The commitment to the ground game. Seattle was led by running back Chris Carson, who carried the ball 32 times for 102 yards and a touchdown.
Rod Marinelli, Cowboys defensive coordinator had the Cowboys defense blitzing the Seattle offensive line especially on third down in hope of at least a sack of Russell Wilson. For the most part, Seattle stood up to the pressure in this game after having had major issues with sacks allowed in the two previous games (12 sacks) as well as being without two starting offensive linemen (center Justin Britt and left guard Ethan Pocic). Dallas came into the game with the second-best sack total (nine sacks) in the league. Yet, Seattle only gave up two sacks against Marinelli’s defense.
• Randy Gregory’s unsportsmanlike penalty with nine seconds left in the first half gave Seattle a more makeable field goal attempt. Seattle was out of field goal range (the Dallas 44-yard line), but the 15-yard penalty made it a 47-yard field goal attempt. Seattle made the field goal and took a 17-3 lead into the half. This was a complete lack of discipline and was something that likely should have been dealt with during the game by the coaching staff, possibly with a benching. He continued playing after this penalty. He finished with no tackles. With greater talent comes greater tolerance in Dallas.
• The Dallas defense might be without linebacker Sean Lee, who suffered a hamstring injury during the game.