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Takeaways from Seahawks’ win over Cowboys: A career day for Carson, defense shines

Chris Carson had 32 carries in the Seahawks' 24-13 win over the Cowboys. (AP)

The Seahawks earned their first win of the season, and their first win since December of last year, with a 24-13 victory over the Dallas Cowboys Sunday. The day brought career highs in both rushing yards and carries for second-year running back Chris Carson, but thankfully for Seattle, the rushing offense wasn’t the sole bright spot.

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Here are a few quick takeaways:

A career day for Chris Carson

One of the biggest critiques faced by the Seahawks offense this season has been the lack of carries – not surprisingly, that stems from one of their biggest critiques from last year: a poor rushing offense.

The Seahawks improved in both areas Sunday. Running back Chris Carson finished the game with 102 yards on 32 attempts, a career-high in carries for Carson and a season-high in carries for the Seahawks.

Carson surpassed 100 yards with just over two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, breaking an unfortunate streak of sub-100 yard games for any Seattle running back since 2016. Carson’s rushing touchdown was the first by a running back since J.D. McKissic did it in Week 4 last year.

Seahawks defense shines

Despite being short longtime starters like Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, the Seahawks defense has held its own this season in road games against the Denver Broncos and Chicago Bears.

Against the Cowboys, the defense did more than keep the game manageable for Seattle’s offense. Linebacker Bobby Wagner and safety Earl Thomas put up two of the best performances of the day, but there was no shortage of plays from defensive end Frank Clark and safety Earl Thomas, the latter of whom had two interceptions.

Seattle sacked Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott five times and forced three turnovers (Thomas’ two interceptions, and a forced fumble by McDougald that was recovered by cornerback Justin Coleman).

“It felt good, especially after the start we just had,” McDougald said of the performance from the defense. “We’ve been getting the ball, we’ve been doing things, we just weren’t clicking. We would get a turnover, then offense would turn the ball over, then the offense would score and we would let (the opposing team) score. We haven’t really been clicking since the season started, and to see everything come together today felt amazing.”

What changed?

“I would say everybody’s just been more in-tuned to their jobs. We were always really close; one play here, one penalty there… and (today) we just put a complete game together. That’s what we did. (Our offense) converted on third down, (our defense) got off the field on third down, we got turnovers — everything you could want out of a game situation.”

Wilson controls the tempo

The Seahawks leaned into the run for most of the day, but quarterback Russell Wilson put together an impressive outing just one week after what Carroll called an “uncharacteristic” performance in a loss to the Bears. Carroll specifically highlighted Wilson’s control of the game.

“I thought Russ played really well at controlling the tempo of the game,” Seattle’s head coach said postgame. “He was really smart today, he was really on it. I really liked him in the role. He had a lot of stuff he did, a lot of subtle things that you might not be able to see, that we’re really happy about in controlling the rhythm of the game…

“It’s managing the tempo and the line of scrimmage and the cadence. They had to call timeouts today a couple different times because they weren’t ready for what we were doing and they didn’t want to let the ball get snapped… he was responsible for all of that happening.”

Wilson finished the day 16 of 26 for 192 yards and two touchdowns.

Notes

• Wide receiver Brandon Marshall was targeted six times by Wilson, mostly on third down, and caught two of those. After hauling in a 27-yard catch in the third quarter, Marshall went to the ground for some quick push-ups.

“(I) dropped a few big balls and when you drop balls you gotta do pushups,” Marshall said postgame. “Just hold myself accountable. The great thing is the team was able to overcome them and come out with a victory. So that’s great and I’ve just got to get back to work and try to do a better job.”

• The Seahawks appear to have made it out of Sunday’s game injury-free. A few starters continue to be sidelined, though Carroll said Friday that linebacker K.J. Wright (knee) will have a chance to return in Week 4.

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