Russell Wilson’s 5 TDs lead Seahawks past Cowboys 38-31 in shootout

Sep 27, 2020, 2:18 PM | Updated: 8:23 pm

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson continues to play like the MVP front runner. And to think what shape his team would be in if he wasn’t.

Seahawks 38, Cowboys 31: Instant Reaction | Quick hits | Box score

Wilson threw five touchdowns, including a 29-yarder to DK Metcalf inside the final two minutes, to lead Seattle to a 38-31 win over the Dallas Cowboys in what was every bit the shootout it was expected to be with both teams’ defenses decimated by injury.

The Seahawks had to sweat out their third win in as many games this season, as Dallas reached Seattle’s 22-yard line on the final possession before rookie Alton Robinson came up with a huge sack and safety Ryan Neal picked off Cowboys QB Dak Prescott in the end zone.

Wilson, who now has an NFL-record 14 touchdown passes in the first three games of a season, led the Seahawks to the win in a game where the defense struggled against Prescott and the team suffered multiple injuries that have the potential to be devastating.

Prescott threw for a staggering 472 yards against Seattle’s struggling defense, including three touchdowns and two interceptions.

Wilson had 315 yards on 27 of 40 passing, five TDs and no picks. Tyler Lockett caught the first three of those TDs and finished with 100 yards on nine receptions. Metcalf had four catches for 110 yards.

The story of this game may be what it cost Seattle’s roster, though.

Seahawks injury update: Jamal Adams, Chris Carson among long list

Both All-Pro safety Jamal Adams (groin) and running back Chris Carson (leg) couldn’t finish the contest due to injuries in the fourth quarter, and offensive linemen Damien Lewis (ankle), Mike Iupati (knee) and Ethan Pocic (knee) all suffered injuries along the way. Linebacker Jordyn Brooks, Seattle’s 2020 first-round draft pick, also sustained a knee injury, and Seattle played with cornerback Quinton Dunbar (knee) and safety Lano Hill (back), who were both inactive. Add that to the season-ending ACL tears that pass rusher Bruce Irvin and defensive back Marquise Blair sustained in Week 3, and it spells trouble for the Seahawks.

Here’s a quarter-by-quarter look at Seattle’s win.

First quarter

Seahawks 9,Β  Cowboys 9

Much like the previous week, the Seahawks didn’t get off on the right foot, but they didn’t let that put them behind.

Seattle had an ugly three-and-out offensive series to start to game, and its defense struggled mightily to get off the field on third down when Dallas got the ball. The Cowboys converted their first three third downs, but on Dallas’ fourth, second-year defensive back Ugo Amadi made a nice play in coverage on a Prescott pass intended for Dalton Schultz, forcing the Cowboys to settle for a 43-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein.

Wilson started cooking on the next Seahawks series, however, getting some help from Carson, who reeled off a 23-yard run to the left side on a third-and-1. On Seattle’s next snap, Wilson found a wide open – and I do mean wide open –Tyler Lockett for a 43-yard touchdown pass to get Seattle on the board and in the lead.

Not all was positive on that drive, however. Rookie left guard Damien Lewis twisted his ankle and left the game, and he was carted back to the locker room and deemed questionable to return. Through the first two games of his career, the third-round draft pick has ranked in the top 10 of all offensive guards in the NFL by Pro Football Focus.

The Seahawks’ defense had a much easier time in its second series facing the Cowboys, and it has Dallas kick returner Tony Pollard to thank for that. He muffed Jason Myers’ kickoff and fell on the ball at the Cowboys’ own 1-yard line. Two plays later, running back Ezekiel Elliott stumbled in the end zone and was ruled down for a safety, pushing Seattle’s led to 9-3.

Seattle’s offense couldn’t do anything with the gift it was handed, unfortunately. Wilson was sacked by Dallas pass rusher Aldon Smith for the second time in the game on first down and the Seahawks punted after another three-and-out. Prescott then led Dallas on an eight-play, 65-yard TD drive that included 28-yard passes to both CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper. Elliott capped it off with a 1-yard run, but Zuerlein’s PAT hit the upright to keep the score tied 9-9.

The Seahawks nearly took the lead right back as Wilson connected with Metcalf on a beautiful 62-yard pass, but Metcalf let his guard down right at the goal line and Dallas’ Trevon Diggs punched the ball out of the back of the end zone, resulting in a touchback. That cost the Seahawks at least six points and gave the Cowboys the ball back.

The Cowboys couldn’t convert a third-down pass attempt on the final play of the quarter, setting up a punt to open the second.

DAL – Greg Zuerlein 43 FG, 8:14
SEA – Tyler Lockett 43 pass from Russell Wilson (Jason Myers kick), 6:43
SEA – Ezekiel Elliott tackled in end zone for safety, 6:38
DAL – Elliott 1 run (kick failed), 1:40

Second quarter

Seahawks 23, Cowboys 15

Let’s get through the first three series of this quarter as quickly as possible, because they went like this: Dallas three-and-out, Seattle three-and-out, Dallas three-and-out. Good defense but not much to write about.

OK, now let’s get to the action because the offenses did wake up.

The Seahawks got rolling first on an impressive 11-play, 71-yard drive that chewed up 4:38 of clock. Carson had a run for 11, Metcalf had a 10-yard catch, and Lockett had a 15-yard reception. Seattle was also helped out by penalties on two plays that could have seriously hurt them, with an illegal contact call on cornerback Daryl Worley negating a sack and an interception by Worley called off as Lockett was clearly held by Jourdan Lewis, which was the only reason Wilson’s throw was catchable for Worley. Lockett then had his second TD connection with Wilson on the day, this time a 1-yarder to put Seattle ahead 16-9.

Dallas didn’t wait long to shrink that lead. Prescott shredded Seattle’s secondary, hitting Cooper for 13 yards then again for 22 yards, and Cedrick Wilson for 40 to find the end zone after just three plays. Luckily for the Seahawks, Tre Flowers blocked the PAT – the second time Dallas got just six points out of a TD – to preserve a one-point advantage.

The Seahawks punted on what appeared to be their last series of the first half, giving the Cowboys one more chance with 1:02 to go, but Shaquill Griffin had something to say about that. He picked off Prescott for the Pro Bowl cornerback’s first interception since 2018, giving Seattle the ball back at the Dallas 34 with 36 seconds left.

Metcalf hauled in a 9-yard pass on first down, tight end Greg Olsen made a catch and got out of bounds to get a first down and stop the clock, then had another down to the 1 with 12 seconds left. That set up Lockett and Wilson for, yes, a third TD pass on the day, pushing Seattle’s lead to 23-15 just before the half.

SEA – Lockett 1 pass from Wilson (Myers kick), 6:53
DAL – Cedrick Wilson 40 pass from Dak Prescott (kick blocked), 6:05
SEA – Lockett 1 pass from Wilson (Myers kick), :07

Third quarter

Seahawks 30, Cowboys 22

Sometimes you think the Seahawks’ defense may be figuring out what it’s supposed to be. Other times, not so much.

Both were the case at different points in the third quarter.

It started to become all Seahawks at first, with Jarran Reed coming up with a huge play right out of the gate after halftime. He got to Prescott while he was throwing, knocking the ball into the hands of Benson Mayowa for a sack-fumble that gave Seattle the ball at the Dallas 5.

That made it all too easy for Wilson, who hit tight end Jacob Hollister for a 1-yard TD, making Wilson the first QB in NFL history to throw at least four touchdown passes in each of his team’s first three games in a season.

The defense picked up where it left off, continually finding ways to pressure Prescott and getting a nice showing from Amadi, who has found himself the recipient of more playing time with the season-ending injury to Marquise Blair in Week 2. Dallas was forced to punt after eight plays and just 16 yards.

Seattle punted back six plays later, however, and a defensive let-up allowed the Cowboys to get right back into the game.

Two big gains helped Dallas score in just three plays that only took about 30 seconds off the clock. Prescott opened the drive finding Michael Gallup for 52 yards, then hit Wilson for a 42-yard touchdown that cut the Seahawks’ lead to 30-22.

SEA – Jacob Hollister 1 pass from Wilson (Myers kick), 14:14
DAL – Wilson 42 pass from Prescott (Zuerlein kick), 5:55

Fourth quarter

Seahawks 38, Cowboys 31

There was bad news, then there was worse news for the Seahawks early in the fourth quarter.

First, Dallas cut Seattle’s lead to 30-28 on yet another long pass play – Prescott to Gallup for 43 yards – though the Seahawks at least maintained their lead by stopping the Cowboys with an incompletion on a two-point conversion attempt.

The worse news was who was missing on the field on that pass play: Jamal Adams, the All-Pro safety who the Seahawks paid a premium price to acquire in a trade with the Jets in the offseason. He was ruled questionable to return with a groin injury.

The Cowboys were able to move into the lead for the first time since early in the first quarter thanks to a 42-yard field goal by Zuerlein with 4:03 left to play, capping off a 16-play, 70-yard drive that ticked 5:55 off the clock to make it 31-30.

The question then wasn’t necessarily whether Wilson could lead the Seahawks to a go-ahead touchdown, but if he could do so and eat up enough clock that Dallas wouldn’t have the time to score again on Seattle’s reeling defense before the game ended. He cut it close, eventually finding Metcalf for a 29-yard TD that, along with a two-point conversion pass to Hollister, made it 38-31 Seattle with 1:47 to go.

Yet another unfortunate injury development occurred during that drive for the Seahawks, though, as Carson suffered an apparent leg injury when a Dallas defender held onto him and continued to twist as the play ended.

Dallas drove into Seattle territory, but rookie defensive end Alton Robinson picked a great time for his first career sack to forced a third down inside the final 20 seconds.

Prescott was nearly taken down again on the next play by Mayowa, and while he stayed upright, he made a hasty throw towards the end zone that was picked off by safety Ryan Neal, sealing the win for Seattle.

DAL – Zuerlein 42 FG, 4:03
– DK Metcalf 29 pass from Wilson (Hollister pass from Wilson), 1:55

Follow’s Brent Stecker on Twitter.

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Russell Wilson’s 5 TDs lead Seahawks past Cowboys 38-31 in shootout