The Dallas Cowboys game against the Atlanta Falcons started off ugly and had an improbable ending with the Cowboys winning 40-39. This week the Cowboys are facing off against a familiar foe in the Seattle Seahawks. Coming from behind against this team won’t be as easy with Russell Wilson already playing at a high level. Time to take a look at the Cowboys week three opponent.
2019 Record: 11-5
Last Meeting: 1/5/19 Cowboys 24 - Seahawks 22
Head Coach: Pete Carroll
Key Additions: S Jamal Adams, TE Greg Olsen, WR Phillip Dorsett, CB Quinton Dunbar, EDGE Bruce Irvin, RB Carlos Hyde
Key Losses: DT Quinton Jefferson, OLB Jadeveon Clowney, DE Ziggy Ansah, RB Marshawn Lynch, RT Germain Ifedi, DT Al Woods
Biggest strengths and weaknesses
When you think of the Seattle Seahawks offense, the first person that comes to mind is Russell Wilson who just received high praise from Bill Belichick in the lead up to their game last week when he said:
“Honestly, I think he’s in a way underrated by the media or the fans, I don’t know. But I don’t really see anybody better than this player,” Belichick said Thursday morning. “This guy is a tremendous player.”
Wilson went on to prove him right going 21/28 for 288 yards with five touchdowns and one interception against the always tough Belichick defense. Wilson’s ability to keep plays alive with his legs will be a challenge for a team still figuring out their way on defense. He’s the best dual-threat quarterback in this league, but he isn’t looking to run. That’s the other danger of this team, their receivers ability to work their way open while Wilson is scrambling out of the pocket. Another tough task for a hobbled Cowboys secondary.
The reason that Wilson is scrambling most of the time is due to the teams biggest weakness on offense, the offensive line. They’ve never been able to figure out how to protect Wilson and if the Cowboys are able to get their pass rush back on track they could do some damage in the backfield and force Wilson to scramble and get rid of the ball. The Cowboys could also opt to send more linebackers on blitzes to help get Wilson to the ground.
This Seahawks defense is tough against the run but have been getting torched in the passing game. Overall, they have forced their offense to score a lot of points to cover for them. They got better on run defense with the addition of hard-hitting safety Jamal Adams this offseason. They also have the always formidable linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright manning the middle of the defense.
This is going to be a test for these Cowboys offensive linemen as the Seahawks can bring Adams, and others, on blitzes. The Seahawks are among the top blitzing teams by percentage this season at 36%. All that blitzing does leave the coverage vulnerable if they don’t get home. And as good as Adams is in blitzing and getting after the run game, he can be a liability in coverage.
Injuries also hit this defense hard last week. They lost pass rusher Bruce Irvin and slot corner Marquise Blair to knee injuries. Those injuries give the Cowboys one less pass rusher to deal with and the ability to attack the Seahawks backup slot cornerback with any of their three talented receivers Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb.
On offense, the biggest x-factor that will determine the Seahawks success will be how well they are able to protect Wilson against the Cowboys pass rush.
On defense, it will be containing the Cowboys passing game. They give up a lot of explosive plays to opposing offenses, if they do that this week Prescott will take advantage.