The Cowboys will be back for another Thursday game this week, hosting the Seahawks with potentially high stakes for the upcoming playoffs. Dallas hopes to keep dominating the teams in front of them and maintain momentum toward the postseason, and individual players will also look to benefit from the matchup with Seattle.
The Seahawks aren’t looking like a playoff team lately, dropping three of their last four games. They’ve had some tough competition in Baltimore and San Francisco, but they also lost to the Rams and barely scraped by Washington in the one victory.
What trends have the Seahawks’ recent games shown that help us project how certain Cowboys might perform this Thursday?
RB Tony Pollard
Pollard is a big buy this week for both the matchup and how his own game has been trending lately. After not averaging more than 4.4 yards per carry since Week 3, Pollard has had 5.1 and 6.1 ypc averages in his last two games. After not scoring a touchdown since Week 1, he had one each against Washington and Carolina.
Seattle has been quite generous to opposing running backs lately. Christian McCaffrey went off last Thursday for 114 yards and two scores on just 19 carries. The Rams’ Royce Freeman, despite offensive struggles overall, managed 73 yards on 17 carries. Baltimore demolished Seattle on the ground in Week 9 as running backs alone combined for 230 yards and three touchdowns. That didn’t even include 60 rushing yards from QB Lamar Jackson.
Pollard’s versatility as a receiver could also be problematic for the Seahawks. They recently gave up 11 catches for 161 yards and two touchdowns to Commanders’ backs Brian Robinson and Antonio Gibson. Last week, Christian McCaffrey added five catches for 25 yards to his big day. Rams’ RB Darrell Henderson had 28 yards on four catches the week before.
With Pollard’s play tending upward and Seattle’s run defense going in the opposite direction, this could be a huge day for the Cowboys’ franchised back.
TE Jake Ferguson
One thing the Seahawks have done well lately is take away teams’ number-one receivers. But that’s made them vulnerable to other receiving options, such as tight ends, and the Cowboys have a good one in Ferguson.
In Week 8 against the Browns, despite QB DeShaun Watson’s absence, Seattle still gave up 77 yards and a touchdown to TE David Njoku. Baltimore’s Mark Andrews ripped them the following week for 80 yards on nine catches. Even backup TE Isaiah Likely had 42 yards of his own. Washington’s Logan Thomas also had five catches for 40 yards in Week 10.
While Dak Prescott doesn’t lean on Ferguson consistently, he is comfortable going to him if that’s what the defense is offering. After some quieter games recently for TE1, don’t be surprised if this one gives Ferguson some of his better numbers all season.
DE Micah Parsons
The young lion has been on a tear lately with 7.5 sacks in his last six games. Meanwhile, Seattle just gave up six sacks and 12 other QB hits to the 49ers last Thursday. Two of those sacks and five hits came from Nick Bosa, who you know the Seahawks were fully aware of at all times. Their inability to stop him speaks well for Parsons’ chances this week.
With the Browns’ Myles Garrett now potentially missing time for an injury, Parsons may move one step closer to a potential Defensive Player of the Year award. He still has tough competition in T.J. Watt and Khalil Mack, not to mention his own teammate in CB DaRon Bland. But a big game in primetime could help the cause.
WR CeeDee Lamb
As mentioned before, Seattle has remained stingy to opposing star wideouts even in losses. They’re greatly enjoying the work of rookie CB Devon Witherspoon, a potential award-winner this year. Here’s how teams’ top receivers have fared in recent meetings:
- SF Brandon Aiyuk - 2 rec, 50 yds, 1 TD
- LAR Cooper Kupp - 1 rec, 11 yds
- WAS Terry McLaurin - 4 rec, 33 yds
- BAL Zay Flowers - 1 rec, 11 yds
This could mean a slow day for Lamb, though that may not really hurt Dallas’ offense overall. As was discussed with Jake Ferguson and Tony Pollard above, teams have found ways to punish Seattle for keying too heavily on WR1. And now that Prescott’s increased chemistry with Brandin Cooks has been on display, the Seahawks are going to have a hard time focusing on any one weapon.
QB Dak Prescott
Prescott’s recent hot streak could cool a bit this Thursday. Not necessarily for any resistance that Seattle puts up, but just that Dallas may focus more on its ground game given the Seahawks’ proven vulnerability. We could see something akin to the 189-yard, two-score game that Prescott had against Carolina, especially if Cooper Rush comes in for mop-up duty at the end.
Big numbers are certainly possible; Washington’s Sam Howell had 312 yards and three touchdowns against Seattle in Week 10. The closer the game, the more likely Prescott will be throwing. But if this one gets out of hand quickly, like the Seahawks’ loss to the 49ers did on Thanksgiving, then the Cowboys could get conservative with QB1 ahead of next week’s major matchup with the Eagles.