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5 things to watch when the Cowboys host the Seahawks on Thursday

What are you going to be paying the most attention to on Thursday night?

NFL: OCT 01 Patriots at Cowboys Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

For the second straight week, the Dallas Cowboys will host a game on Thursday as they square off against the Seattle Seahawks. This is actually the first time this season that the Cowboys will have back-to-back home games. As we’ve seen, the Cowboys absolutely destroy their opponents at the friendly confines of AT&T Stadium. Will they keep it up? Here are five things to look for when the Cowboys face the Seahawks.

1. CONTAINO GENO

If there is a formula for hacking this Cowboys’ defense, it typically revolves around punishing an overzealous pass rush. Quarterbacks have fared well against Dallas when they decide to break the pocket and take off running. The Cowboys’ defense ranks in the bottom 10 in most rushing yards allowed to quarterbacks, despite not facing a formidable gauntlet of runners. Geno Smith isn’t the running threat he once was, but he can be slippery and it could lead to some extra first downs if the Cowboys don’t stay home.

2. ANOTHER BLAND PICK ON THE WAY

DaRon Bland is having a great season and he’s absolutely a magician when it comes to turning an open receiver to a not-so-open receiver. It’s become a routine thing for the second-year corner to jump a route and take it to paydirt. This fun could keep going as Geno Smith has a slow wind up and it takes some extra time to get the ball out. Oftentimes the Seahawks receivers get a jump on the defender only to see them catch up at the end. This is right up Bland’s alley, so don’t be shocked if he comes through with a pick on Thursday. As for taking it to the house? Who would be crazy enough to predict that?

3. TROUBLE FOR JOURDAN?

The Cowboys have two good cornerbacks in Bland and Stephon Gilmore. The Seahawks have three good wide receivers in D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Doing some more math tells us there is one additional good receiver the Cowboys need to cover. This means Jourdan Lewis will likely be tasked with covering slot receiver Smith-Njigba. Lewis is the team’s one liability in the secondary and he has shown to be rather beatable this season. There aren’t many weak spots in this Cowboys' defense, but Lewis is it so look for the Seahawks to feed their young rookie receiver.

4. STEELE THE ONE?

After a rough first half of the season, Terence Steele is slowly starting to resemble his old self as he’s strung together some solid performances as of late. He’ll face a tough matchup against second-year defensive end Boye Mafe. The Seahawks’ young edge rusher is the only player on their team with more than four sacks. Mafe has great agility and should challenge Steele’s lateral movement, an area that’s plagued him a lot this year. This could be a good checkpoint to see if Steele has truly turned a corner or if more challenges lie ahead.

5. THAT’S A WRAP

Recently, the Cowboys offense has relied on a lot of little pitch and catch short passes to help supplement a running game. Similarly, jet sweeps and bubble screens are ways to allow CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks, and KaVontae Turpin to use their elusiveness to gain extra yards. There are holes to be had in this Seahawks defense, but once they get their mitts on you, they usually wrap them up. With a good linebacking group of Bobby Wagner and Jordyn Brooks, and physical safeties like Jamaal Adams and Julian Love, their back seven can tackle.

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