Russell Wilson throws 2 TDs to lead Seahawks past Cowboys 27-17
That’s what both teams felt after Thursday’s preseason game at CenturyLink Field, though the reasons for those feelings were dramatically different in Seattle and Dallas.
For the Cowboys, the relief was that Tony Romo was able to walk off the field on his own after he was hit by Cliff Avril on the fourth play of the game, compressing the quarterback’s lower back.
For the Seahawks, the relief was that their first-team offense stopped skidding and started scoring. Russell Wilson completed 16 of the 21 passes he attempted for 192 yards and two touchdowns, and the Seahawks beat the Cowboys 27-17.
It took the Seahawks only three quarters to nearly equal their total scoring from the first two preseason games.
Wilson had been on the field for six possessions in the first two preseason games and the Seahawks had yet to score. He played six possessions on Thursday, and the Seahawks scored on four of them.
Paul Richardson caught a 9-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, and Tyler Lockett had a 9-yard scoring catch on a throw that Wilson made on a dead run toward the sideline after he’d spun out of the back of the pocket.
Wilson left after Seattle’s second possession in the second half, and he was replaced by Trevone Boykin. He promptly imitated Wilson, first buying time to complete a pass off a second-down scramble after entering the game and then scoring on a 16-yard touchdown run.
The Seahawks scored 28 points in the first two preseason games combined with 22 of those coming in the fourth quarter. Seattle had 27 points entering the fourth quarter of Thursday’s game.
Biggest takeaway: The Seahawks didn’t give up a sack in the first half, a decided improvement over last week when Wilson was sacked four times in the first two quarters. The Seahawks only rushed for 22 yards in the first half, though, well off the pace Seattle had established in the first two preseason games. Seattle averaged just over three yards per carry in the first half. The Seahawks averaged more than 5 yards per rush in the first two preseason grades. The run game improved in the second half as Seattle gained 126 yards.
Passing grades: Wilson was remarkably efficient even by his standards as he completed 13 of 16 passes in the first half and 16 of 21 in the game. Boykin entered the game with 6:12 left in the third quarter. Romo was on the field for only four plays before suffering an apparent back injury. He completed the only pass he attempted for 11 yards. Romo was replaced by rookie Dak Prescott, who was impressive in his two quarters of work. Prescott was 17-for-23 passing for 116 yards and a touchdown.
On the frontlines: Seattle’s starting defense gave up 10 points to Dallas, the only touchdown coming on a play that linebacker K.J. Wright had well covered only to have tight end Jason Witten jump up and reach over him for a 17-yard touchdown catch. The Seahawks’ starting offense scored 13 points against Dallas’ No. 1 defense. It was the Cowboys’ backups who were in by the time Seattle scored its second touchdown of the game.
Rookie watch: Cowboys running back Zeke Elliott was the single most impressive rookie on either team. He gained 48 yards on seven carries in his preseason debut. He carried on four straight plays at one point, gaining 9 or more yards on three of those, including a 13-yard run he punctuated by lowering his head and knocking strong safety Kam Chancellor backward. Running back C.J. Prosise gained 11 yards on his first preseason carry, which was great except that it was 9 yards short of what his team needed for a first down on third-and-20. Prosise gained 23 yards on four carries. Right guard Germain Ifedi was penalized for holding in the first quarter, his second such penalty this month. Defensive lineman Quentin Jefferson had a second-quarter tackle for loss. Running back Alex Collins looked more explosive than he has the past two weeks with runs of 8 and 9 yards on back-to-back plays in the third quarter.
Injuries: Romo (back) left the game in the first quarter.
Absences: Defensive tackle Jarran Reed (toe), wide receiver Kasen Williams (hamstring), tight ends Jimmy Graham (knee) and Nick Vannett (ankle), running back Thomas Rawls (ankle).
Snap decision: A tough night for rookie long-snapper Nolan Frese, who had three low snaps. None cost the Seahawks in the game as Jon Ryan boomed a 65-yard punt in spite of the low snap in the first quarter and Steven Hauschka made a 53-yard field goal in the third quarter. Frese had two errant snaps in last week’s preseason game against Minnesota.
Running out of trouble: The Seahawks rushed for 22 yards as a team in the first half, and Christine Michael gained only 11 yards on four carries. Well, he gained 47 yards on the three carries he had in the third quarter, including one run of 20 yards.
Webb slinger: J’Marcus Webb made his Seahawks debut on Thursday night, just not at the position that was expected. Webb was playing right tackle when training camp began, but he entered the game at left tackle to start the second half against Dallas. That’s an indication the Seahawks may be looking at him to be a swing tackle, capable of backing up both spots.
Kam-trak: Chancellor played his first game of the preseason, and he had a pair of notable collisions with Elliott, the No. 4 overall choice in the draft. First, Elliott lowered his head to finish off a 13-yard run. It didn’t knock Chancellor over, but it certainly got his attention. On the next play, Elliott was the intended target of a pass that was tipped at the line of scrimmage. Chancellor unloaded on Elliott and was penalized for unnecessary roughness.