After coming off an impressive season-opening win against the defending Super Bowl champions, the Dallas Cowboys will take their act to an always hostile CenturyLink Field in Seattle to do battle with the Seahawks.
The Cowboys of recent years have always seemed to disappoint or fail to meet their lofty expectations, but after dominating the Giants on opening night, you get the sense this Cowboys team could well be the beats of the NFC East. These types of matches have plagued Dallas in recent seasons, and a win in Seattle would do wonders for their playoff quest.
Seattle meanwhile returns home after a disappointing outing against Arizona in Week 1. The Seahawks closed as 3-point road favourites, but didn’t play the part in Week 1. Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson came out of nowhere to win the starting job in training camp, and will need to be better than his first game against a newer, tougher, Cowboys defense.
On the injury front, both teams have yet to fully shed the bug. For Dallas, nose tackle Jay Ratliff remains out in the middle of the defensive line, as will starting center Phil Costa. Costa only played three snaps in the season opener, but Ryan Cook was solid in relief. Conversely, the Seahawks could be without their star left tackle in Russell Okung who is an unlikely game-time decision for Seattle. Okung’s absence could be a huge loss for Seattle as he is slated to guard against star Cowboy lineman, DeMarcus Ware. Okung’s replacement would most certainly have huge issues with the Pro Bowler Ware. Sidney Rice also has yet to practice this week for Seattle, but should fight through the pain in time for Sunday’s game.
Cowboys vs. Seahawks Spread and Betting Odds:
Dallas Cowboys -3 (-125)
@ Seattle Seahawks +3 (+105)
Over 42.5 (-110)
Under 42.5 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Cowboys vs. Seahawks Pick:
The Dallas Cowboys always seem to be one of the NFL’s biggest mysteries. Always loaded with talent and potential, but rarely meet the expectations. Could this be the year for Romo and Co.? It certainly looks like it after an awesome showing in New York on opening night. Romo looked as good as he has ever looked, while the quartet of Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, Jason Witten, and newcomer Kevin Ogeltree, all have proven to be a difficult foursome to guard for any secondary in the league. The Seahawks have an excellent defense, and one that plays immense in front of their home crowd. But if Romo can play like he did in the opener, it could be a long day for the Seahawks.
The key in this contest will be how can Romo and the Cowboys handle the crowd and the Seattle defense. Romo and his team have a history in recent seasons of coming unravelled when the going gets tough, and the Seattle crowd will most certainly give Dallas a stiff test. Since 2005, CenturyLink Field in Seattle has induced the most false start penalties and routinely reaches decibel levels up to 112, a noise akin to a rock concert or jet taking off. It can get loud in there, but if Romo remains focused on the task at hand and can deliver the ball to his plethora of playmakers, this game could be very winnable for the Cowboys.
Romo looks as locked in and capable as ever, and while the Seattle fans, like always, will make their presence felt, they’re not the ones in charge of stopping this prolific Cowboys attack. Expect the Cowboys to assert their dominance in what is simply a mismatch in talent between both sides. Russell Wilson struggled mightily in Week 1 vs. Arizona, and that trend will continue against an athletic Cowboys defense. Their revamped secondary looked staunch against the Giants, and facing a team like Seattle without the weapons of New York, should be a much easier challenge for Rob Ryan’s defense.
Dallas enters a rested bunch, playing Seattle after a 10-day hiatus. They’ll be raring to go 2-0 on the season and look for their defensive front to relentlessly pressure Wilson, especially with Okung being unlikely to suit up. Their secondary, led by Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne, will make things difficult for the rookie Wilson, producing a lot of 3-and-out drives.
Last time Tony Romo and his Cowboys were in Seattle, it was the site of his infamous fumbled snap on a field goal that would’ve secured his first-ever playoff victory. This time, he returns a more seasoned veteran, primed for a year of silencing the doubters. He’ll be the difference come Sunday afternoon, but for the right reasons this time around. Take the Cowboys to cover in front of a hostile Seattle crowd on the backs of yet another impressive defensive performance.
PICK: Cowboys -3 (-125)