Photo credit: Tom Pennington
Author: Jon Kuzma
It was another high stakes matchup and the Dallas Cowboys defense rose to the occasion once again. Seattle came into the NFC wild card with the league’s number one running game. Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, and Mike Davis make up a three headed rushing attack but Dallas kept all three of those guys under 30 rushing yards. That forced Russell Wilson to win the game through the air but it’s tough to do that when you can’t run any play-action passes or bootlegs. Those deception plays only work when you establish a presence on the ground first and the Cowboys weren’t falling for it. You can’t praise Leighton Vander Esch, Demarcus Lawrence, Jaylon Smith, and Maliek Collins enough for the impact they had in this contest. Seattle had to claw and scratch for every single yard and then the Cowboys offense was just a little bit more potent. Ezekiel Elliott led the way with 137 yards. Jason Garrett was smart enough give the NFL’s rushing leader 30 touches (26 rushing attempts and 4 receptions). That heavy workload helps Jerry Jones’ ball club control the time of possession and when they stick to this game plan they’re dangerous. The other two big factors were Amari Cooper finishing with 106 receiving yards and the fact that Dak Prescott (226 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT) was able to drop a perfect fade right into Michael Gallup’s hands for a touchdown. Russell Wilson only had 233 yards, 1 touchdown, and no interceptions so the fact that Prescott kept the quarterback battle close was also crucial. Defensively Vander Esch had a team high of 10 tackles for Dallas. Collins had 4 tackles and a sack too so those two guys really held it down. Bradley McDougald had 10 tackles in the loss. K.J Wright also had an incredible performance for Seattle with 10 tackles and 1 interception. It should also be mentioned that Tyler Lockett combined for 192 yards between catching the ball and special teams. However this is a different Cowboys team and they’re heading to the divisional round with a ton of confidence. It’s been a while since the fans in Texas had so much to be optimistic about.
Charity of the day: National Audubon Society
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Tyler Lockett proved he’s an elite receiver. His vertical routes stretch the field for Seattle.