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Cowboys news: Everything you need to know, game predictions, and keys to victory against the Seahawks

Game day is here! Check out the latest edition of Cowboys news.

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NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys vs. Seahawks odds: Picks, predictions from expert who's 13-3 on Dallas, Seattle games - Staff, CBS Sports
It feels weird, but the Cowboys are underdogs against the winless Seahawks.

The Seahawks are 1.5-point sportsbook favorites, and the over-under for total points scored is 41.5.

And senior analyst Josh Nagel knows it could all come down to the play of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

He has answered the call, throwing for 524 yards and five touchdowns through the first two games, but Wilson also has been sacked 12 times and thrown three costly interceptions. Against the Bears on Monday night, he threw a pick-six to Prince Amukamara in the fourth quarter on a potential game-tying drive.

Even so, the Seahawks knocked the Cowboys out of playoff contention last season with a 21-12 win in Dallas in which they intercepted Dak Prescott twice and held the Cowboys' offense without a touchdown. It remains to be seen whether Seattle will cover as a slight favorite in the rematch.

NFL Week 3 FOX Cowboys @ Seahawks Preview - Staff, Pro Football Focus
The PFF Team breaks down the Cowboys matchup with the Seahawks with some key statistical data, including something we already know about Dak Prescott.

Not only is Prescott near the bottom, but look who’s no. 1 at throwing deep. Of course, there are also a lot of Sir-Pick-A-Lots ranked above Prescott.

Everything you need to know about Seahawks vs. Cowboys - Week 3 - Aaron Fentress, NBC Sports Northwest
What do you need to know about this game. NBC Northwest hooks you up and offers a these statistical tidbits.

By the numbers

-1: For the first time this season Seattle is favored in a game and it’s by one point.

5 and 0: Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson has thrown five interceptions while Dallas’ Dak Prescott has yet to throw a pick.

32: The number of carries for Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott, who has just one fewer than Seahawks running backs Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny combine.

10-7: Seattle trails the all-time series between these two teams, But the Seahawks have won the last two meetings and two of the last three.

Unless you are in parts of the Midwest or Arizona, the Cowboys game will be on your television set this week.

Five things to look for in the Cowboys’ game against Seattle - Calvin Watkins, The Athletic
Watkins provides his weekly "Five things to watch" including what's on everyone's mind...

So how many wide receivers will play?

The Cowboys signed Brice Butler on Monday, adding a deep threat to the offense. He’s a big target that stretches the defenses on 20-plus yard pass plays. His vibe with Dak Prescott is strong and it was noticeable when the two walked into the locker room together on Thursday before the quarterback’s media availability. Of Prescott’s 7,321 career passing yards, 533 have gone to Butler and of his 46 touchdowns, Butler has caught six. Only Cole Beasley (nine) has caught more touchdown passes from Prescott among current Cowboys. It might be asking too much for Butler to be ready Sunday, though he does know the offense and terminology. He hasn’t practiced enough. With seven wide receivers on the active roster, six will be active and it’s safe to assume Butler will sit, at least for Sunday. If the Cowboys make Butler active, the two candidates to be inactive are veteran Terrance Williams and rookie Michael Gallup.

Of course, that question could answer itself if Beasley’s ankle keeps him out of today’s contest. Here is the team’s final injury report.

And here’s the latest from the injury front.

Keys to the Game: Can Seattle get the running game going? Will Kris Richard be an X-factor for Dallas? - Bob, Condotta, The Seattle Times
Seattle Times staff reporter goes over his weekly look of the Seahawks game, including an All-Pro running back vs. an All-Pro linebacker.


Seattle MLB Bobby Wagner vs. Dallas running back Ezekial Elliott.

Okay, so no running game matchup is ever quite as simple as one player against another. But Wagner is one of the best MLBs in the NFL and Elliott has been one of the more productive backs in his two-plus years in the league. Elliott has yet to have a 100-yad game this season — his 147 yards rank seventh in the NFL — and vowed this week that a breakout game is coming. Wagner returns after missing the Bears’ game, when he was more-than-ably replaced by Austin Calitro. Given Dallas’ anemic passing attack (30th in the NFL at 149 yards per game), stopping the run — Elliott as well as Dak Prescott, who has 64 yards in two games — looms as the key for the Seattle defense.

Cowboys Advance Scouting: Week 3 vs Seattle Seahawks - Joey Ickes, The Athletic
Former BTB'er Joey Ickes provides an in-depth scouting report on the Seahawks and once again that Russell Wilson fella keeps coming up.

Cowboys keys to the game

Once again, there is a strong singular theme developing over the course of the season: The Cowboys’ path to victory revolves around their defensive line’s ability to create consistent disruption and spend much of the game in their opponent’s backfield.

That is especially applicable against the Seahawks and their suspect offensive line.

However, against a quarterback like Wilson, it is important to be sound in your pressure. If even one defender fails to stay true to his assignment Wilson will evade the pressure, escape the pocket, and create big plays.

You have to keep Wilson “in the well” and take advantage of his willingness to play backward, to create some big negative plays and prevent the Seahawks offense from getting on schedule.

Russell Wilson is (still) a human piñata behind the Seahawks offensive line - Brett Kollman, YouTube
Kollmann breaks down all 12 sacks the Seahawks have given up so far this year and concludes the tape is not as bad as the numbers. The Cowboys have nine sacks through two games already, but will likely have to rely on scheme and stunts to increase that total against the Seahawks.

Advanced Stats Notebook: Who will win between Cowboys, Seahawks?- K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire
Speaking of former BTB'ers and advanced scouting, K.D. Drummond provides a handful of metrics to measure team performance, including one of my personal favorites...

Aikman Efficiency Ratings

One reason we love Troy Aikman’s efficiency ratings is because we know it’s something the Cowboys’ organization uses in helping them evaluate their teams.

From the Dallas Morning News in 2014:

“When I talked to Rod Marinelli in training camp, he said there were only two sets of numbers he cared about for his defense: the Aikman ratings and turnovers.”

What does it measure? It’s a proprietary formula devised by Aikman and STATS, Inc that weighs adjusted points, red zone efficiency, turnovers, yards per play and first downs.

What The Seahawks Are Saying About The Cowboys - Staff, Seattle Seahawks
We got to the Seahawks base camp to check out what the coaches are saying about the Cowboys. Head coach Pete Carroll had this to say about his former defensive coordinator:

(On Kris Richard’s influence on the Cowboys defense) “I can see it in the corner play. Yeah. The corners are playing really well. They’re on line of scrimmage and they’re doing a nice job. They made a nice move with (Byron) Jones and he’s made a nice quick transition. He’s doing a good job for them.”

And offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer talks about what he'll be up against.

(On the Dallas Cowboys pass rush) “Really good. You watch what they did to Eli (Manning) the other night. I think Coach (Rod) Marinelli does an unbelievable job of coaching effort. You see that. They move all over the place. We kind of call it ‘spaghetti on a plate’ just because you never know where they’re going. They do a great job penetrating. Their games are really tight, which means one guy’s in the gap and there’s not a lot of space between them.

The Seahawks offense has had a hard time solving Rod Marinelli’s Cowboys defense - Mookie Alexander, Field Gulls
Everyone is talking about the Cowboys offensive ineptness, but as Mookie Alexander (what a cool name) from Field Gulls points out, Rod Marinelli has Seattle's number. Let's revisit, shall we...

In 2014:

Three of Seattle’s four scoring drives went for 14, 5, and 12 yards, while Mike Morgan got Seattle a blocked punt touchdown. The Seahawks lost 30-23 in a game that should’ve been a blowout, and would certainly be a blowout for the 2018 group.

In 2015:

The following year, the Seahawks traveled to JerryWorld and needed a late field goal from Steven Hauschka to win a 13-12 slog over the Matt Cassel-led Dallas Cowboys.

In 2017:

Last season, with their backs against the wall, the Seahawks kept their wild card hopes alive at the expense of Dallas on Christmas Eve 2017. The final score was 21-12, but in doing so became the first team in the post-merger NFL to win a game with more penalty yards (142) than offensive yards (136).

When you factor in Marinelli’s effectiveness against the Seahawks combined with a decline in offensive production for Seattle, it wouldn’t surprise me if today’s game was the lowest point output yet for the Hawks.

5 Players to Watch vs. Seahawks in Week 3 - Stephen Forsha, NFL Spin Zone
Everyone is talking about the Seahawks quarterback being the difference maker. What about the Cowboy QB?

Prescott has some revenge to take care of from last season as well. In Week 16 of the 2017 season, the Seahawks were the team who officially ended the playoff hopes of the Cowboys, and in the game Prescott didn’t play at his best level, going 21-of-34 for 181 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions.

Keep a closer eye on Prescott this Sunday. It will be interesting to see how he comes out and attacks the defense of Seattle. Prescott and the Cowboys need to attack the Seattle defense downfield more than they attacked teams in the past, but if they do so, this is one of the reasons Prescott is a must-watch player.

Gut Feeling: Predictions For Cowboys-Seahawks - Staff, Dallas Cowboys
The writers aren't so optimistic over at the Mothership as the majority as predicted a Seahawks win, but I'm not going to start your Sunday morning off like that, so let's roll with what Mickey had to say...

Mickey Spagnola: Logically you would say the Cowboys have no shot at going up to Seattle and winning in that place. After all, the Seahawks have won 14 of their last 15 home-openers. And on top of that, the Cowboys don’t win much up there at CenturyLink Field. But look, that’s history. This is today. The 0-2 Seahawks aren’t the same Seahawks of Legion of Boom fame. And these Cowboys aren’t as bad as they were in Week 1. They will lean on their defense against an injury-riddled Seattle offensive line to turn the tables up there. Cowboys 24, Seahawks 16, beating them just as they did last time up there in 2014. Book it.

Seahawks vs. Cowboys: Staff predictions for must-win game for Seattle - Lee Vowell, 12th Man Rising
Of course, those who follow the Seahawks have their own level of pessimism about their team's chances in this game.

Kevin Daggett (co-host of the 12th Man Rising podcast)

I don’t see any improvements on either since of the ball since Monday. Dallas has a better offense than Denver or Chicago. With no pass rush, how long can the young DB’s hold it together for the Seahawks? Dallas also has a better defensive front line than the aforementioned franchises so #3 (Russell Wilson) better get back to his old scrambling ways or Hundley will need to buckle up the chinstrap early. Do I dare mention the “Run Game”? What Seattle run game, you ask? Good question. Everyone knows you need to establish the run game to have an effective pass game. I think Seattle has the personal to be effective in both areas, so lets give Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny a shot to see. GO HAWKS!!

Prediction: Cowboys 27 Seahawks 14

Dallas Cowboys' last trip to Seattle was the dawn of a new era - Todd Archer, ESPN
The last time the Cowboys played in Seattle, the face of the franchise was changed forever.

On the third play of their third preseason game in 2016, Tony Romo grabbed his back after taking a hit from Cliff Avril as the quarterback was sliding. After the game, Romo said he was fine and was encouraged that his surgically repaired back could withstand such a hit. The next day he was diagnosed with a compression fracture of his back that would keep him out at least the first six games of the season.

I think we all remember what happened next.

Check out the latest edition of The 75O to help you get ready for the game today!

It’s hard to believe we’re at Week 3 of the season, but the Dallas Cowboys will indeed head to Seattle for a date against the Seahawks this Sunday. Check out the latest episode of The 75O as Tony Casillas (@tccasillas) and RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) give their thoughts on how Dallas can win, what Kris Richard can do to help, and just how important this game is going to be in the grand scheme of things.

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