The Cowboys’ unlikely run into the postseason continued as their defense shut down Seattle’s league-best running game and left Russell Wilson needing a fourth quarter miracle even he couldn’t pull off.
Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott will take the headlines, but it’s Jaylon Smith, Demarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch and the rest of the defense that deserves the bulk of the credit. They limited Chris Carson to just 20 yards from 13 carries, and 28 of Rashaad Penny’s 29 came on a single run. Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer looked scared of the Cowboys’ offensive front, hiding Wilson until it it was too late despite him clearly being their most potent weapon.
The first half, in truth, was a tough watch, especially for us UK fans staring alone at our TV screens in the dead of night. The first quarter was marred by a horrific ankle injury to Dallas wide receiver Allen Hurns, but they shrugged it off to take the lead through a Brendon Maher field goal.
Sebastian Janikowski hit back twice to give the Seahawks the advantage, but Elliott’s first big play off the night set up the Cowboys’ first touchdown to take back the lead late in the first half. Elliott burst off the right edge for a 41-yard gain and Prescott hit tight end Blake Jarwin twice before floating one to Michael Gallup in the end zone. Seattle could have retaken the lead immediately when Tyler Lockett turned on the afterburners on the resulting kick return, only for Maher of all people to take him down and save what looked a certain touchdown.