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The Seahawks are another flawed measuring stick for the Cowboys

How big of a game do you feel like Thursday is?

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks
Dak Prescott is looking to continue the hot hand.
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

When the 2023 NFL schedule was first released, a lot of fans of the Dallas Cowboys looked at the December games and concluded those were going to be the toughest stretch of the entire season. While we often see things look entirely different when we get to the last quarter of the schedule, this time we were exactly right. The Cowboys sit at 8-3 and are looking very good for a playoff spot, but it may be impossible to catch the Philadelphia Eagles and avoid going into the postseason as a wild card. But before they hit the December gauntlet, they have their Thursday Night Football appearance hosting the Seattle Seahawks. It would be more than a little helpful for Dallas to get another win before they face the rematch with those Eagles.

The most important thing is to continue the level of play they have exhibited since their embarrassment at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers. With only the close loss to Philadelphia marring things, they have gone 5-1 since then, and the last four victories have been by 23 or more points. The defense has been stout, keeping the opponents’ visits to the end zone few and far between. More importantly, the offense has caught fire, putting up huge numbers in most of the games, including that Eagles’ loss. As they head for the playoffs, it is something they really need to continue.

Despite the big wins, there are skeptics who point to the poor quality of the opponents. Of the eleven games played, nine have been against teams that currently sit below .500. The 49ers and Eagles are the only exceptions. That makes it legitimate to question just how good Dallas really is. For much of the year, it looked like the Seahawks were going to be a chance for Dallas to test themselves, but over the past four games, Seattle has lost three and come to AT&T Stadium at 6-5. That is a winning record, but if the Cowboys beat them, they will still only have faced two teams still above .500.


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Technically the Seahawks are slumping, but two of those losses were to the 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens, both among the leaders in their respective conferences. Seattle is a team that is in the middle ground between the good and bad teams in the league. They can play well, and can look very bad. Geno Smith doesn’t get the ball out quickly, and that could mean DaRon Bland is going to stretch his NFL record for pick sixes. Smith has also been sacked at the tenth highest rate, which seems to play right into the biggest strength of the defense, the pass rush.

The Seahawks are not productive on offense and give up a lot of points, and are trending in the wrong direction. This looks like a game that Dallas should have another very good performance. It is also a potential trap game, more so than the New York Giants or Washington Commanders were. However, the Cowboys did not overlook those two, and there seems little chance they will tonight.

So what should we hope for? Basically, more of the same. Dak Prescott has been white hot, CeeDee Lamb can shred a secondary, and now we have seen Brandin Cooks demonstrate his value. The running game still needs to stand up, but with the way the passing attack has been working, that has not hindered them. The relatively low output against the Commanders was at least partly due to the relatively few snaps the offense had as they moved up and down the field with ease on so many possessions. They also seemed to have overcome the red zone issues, going three for three on Thanksgiving. This looks like a great opportunity for them to continue building confidence by mauling a defense.

We’ve already mentioned the Dallas defense, and this is also a game that seems tailor made for them to shine. If there is a weakness, it is sometimes getting gashed by the run, but Seattle averages the seventh fewest yards running per game in the league, and should not be a big threat. That means they should have to rely on the pass, and we know how that can lead to a very long game for them against Dan Quinn’s bunch.

This game is important. It is a chance to show they can defeat a team that is nominally a winner, at least coming into the contest. They can build that momentum and confidence they need going into December. Hopefully, they will also come out with good health, something that may be overlooked. The Cowboys have avoided big injuries for several weeks, and we can only hold our breath on that front, but if this team can keep beating the odds there, they could go into the playoffs as a team no one want to face.

We don’t want to look too far ahead, but if they can get a win against the Eagles before they have to go on the road again, it would be huge. AT&T Stadium has been very good for Dallas, while all their losses have come on the road, and since the season opener, they have generally had closer games away from home. It is also worth noting that their last home game is against the Detroit Lions, another NFC power this year.

All that is in the future, and the focus has to be on the task at hand. Seattle is in the bottom half of pass defenses, and now face the hottest air attack in the NFL. With all the other ways the teams match up, this is a situation where the Cowboys need to do what they do best in all phases of the game, and it should be another impressive win. But, as they say, there is a reason they play the games, and Dallas showed us against the Arizona Cardinals they could lay an unexpected and unwelcome egg. For weeks, though, they have shown laser focus on taking care of business. Don’t expect that to waver in this one.

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