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O’Neil: Seahawks’ win over Cowboys beautifully, blessedly boring

Seahawks RB Chris Carson rushed for a career-high 102 yards Sunday. (AP)

There was no first-half hole to escape from this time.

No fourth-quarter heroics were required.

In fact, if we’re being honest the Seahawks’ 24-13 victory over the Dallas Cowboys was actually kind of, well, boring.

Recap: Seahawks beat CowboysInstant Reaction | Photos | Stats

Beautifully, blessedly boring.

The Seahawks returned home 0-2 and then executed a relatively efficient and totally unambiguous 24-13 victory over the Cowboys. In fact, the most dramatic thing about the game was the FOX telecast showing an impassioned Doug Baldwin making an impassioned point to a member of Seattle’s front office on the sideline during the first half. And while an injured player speaking demonstratively to a personnel executive might be noteworthy on other teams, it barely registers as dissent in the spectrum of things Seahawks players have said and done as evidenced by the fist-pound Baldwin and the executive later exchanged.

What was most noteworthy about Sunday’s game was just how straightforward it was.

The Seahawks said they wanted to run the ball and they did. Chris Carson carried 31 times for 102 yards, a career-high.

The Seahawks said they wanted to play sound, fundamental defense, and they did, holding the Cowboys to 92 yards in the first half and letting Dallas drive inside the Seattle 20 only once in the first three quarters. The Cowboys didn’t reach the end zone until there was 7:11 left in the game and the Seahawks had already staked out an 18-point lead.

That lead was more than large enough to withstand the Cowboys’ flirtation with a fourth-quarter rally. The Cowboys had the ball at the Seattle 20, trailing by 11 with less than 4 minutes to play when Dak Prescott’s pass was deflected to Earl Thomas, who caught it for his second interception of the game. Seattle’s free safety ran toward the Cowboys bench and took a bow.

It was well-deserved not just for Thomas, who has intercepted three passes in three games, but for Seattle’s offense, which finally found its footing in the second quarter.
Quarterback Russell Wilson – who was sacked a league-high 12 times over the first two weeks – wasn’t brought down behind the line of scrimmage until the third quarter. He completed 16 of 26 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns.

More importantly, the Seahawks managed to score on a play in which Wilson wasn’t asked to do anything more than hand the ball off, and while that might not sound like that unusual of an occurrence, it certainly has been in Seattle.

In fact, Carson’s 5-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter marked the first time in 357 days that a Seattle running back had scored a rushing touchdown. After the extra point, Seattle led 24-6, more than enough to withstand the fourth-quarter touchdown the Cowboys managed to score.

For once, Seattle ended Sunday’s game in a very comfortable position. Wilson was actually able to take a knee on the final play, running out the clock on a victory that was relatively uneventful but incredibly important.

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