After stunning the reigning Superbowl champs in the Meadowlands 24-17 on opening night, the Dallas Cowboys (1-0) travel west to take on a Seattle team hungry for a win at home after having a chance to win in Arizona. Dallas will have an advantage in terms of rest and will be confident to win on the road against a rookie quarterback in Russell Wilson.
Had rookie quarterback Russell Wilson gotten some help from his wide receivers, the Seattle Seahawks may be 1-0 right now. The rookie drove his team down the field with at least three opportunities to score from within the 15-yard line of Arizona. A couple of drops later the Cardinals celebrated a 20-16 win at home.
Key Matchup: The Cowboys' defense vs. Seahawks rushing attack.
The Cowboys were able to hold the Giants to 82 yards rushing last Wednesday, but now the Dallas defense will face a tough runner that requires gang tackling to bring him down in Marshawn Lynch. Last week Lynch rushed for more that the Giants put together in 85 yards. Add a mobile QB in Wilson, who rushed for 20 yards vs. Arizona, and the Cowboys will have a few moving parts to deal with in the backfield.
Cowboys - The secondary of the Cowboys will be key in not only stopping the run, but they should be able to take advantage of a rookie quarterback by disguising coverages and giving him looks he's never seen. Even with more than serviceable receivers Sidney Rice and Braylon Edwards to throw to, the Cowboys' secondary will get a shot in the arm with the return of Mike Jenkins to the field. Jenkins (shoulder) is listed as probable for Sunday's game against Seattle.
Seahawks - Seattle's special teams unit did the most damage in terms of big plays and scoring vs. Arizona last Sunday. Return specialist Leon Washington ended the game with 133 yards on kickoff returns, including an 83-yarder that led to points. The seventh-year man out of Florida State also had two punt returns for 56 yards, including a 52-yarder. Then there is kicker Steven Hauschka who led the team in scoring against the Cardinals with field goal from 27, 47 and 39 yards. With an extra point he finished with 10 of Seattle's 16 for the game.
Don't be surprised if...DeMarco Murray gets more that 20 carries against the Seahawks. Every time he runs the ball more that 20 times, the Cowboys win.
Don't be surprised if...the Seahawks ride running back Lynch for as many yards as possible, a good running game is certainly a rookie quarterback's best friend.
Prediction: Cowboys 30, Seahawks 17