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3 things we learned about the Cowboys

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ARLINGTON, Texas — The Seattle Seahawks aren’t about to apologize for an uneven and, some might say, ugly offensive showing Sunday.

The important thing for the defending NFC champions is they won Sunday and they are 4-4 halfway through the season.

“We made it back to even,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “I don’t think it feels much different than last year. It’s very similar.”

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson did just enough with his arm and his legs, and kicker Steven Hauschka provided the foot to lift the Seahawks to a potential season-salvaging 13-12 victory over the reeling Dallas Cowboys.

Hauschka delivered a game-deciding 24-yard field goal with 1:06 remaining to quiet the majority of the 91,486 fans at AT&T Stadium.

The Seahawks won two straight going into their bye week and are currently two games back of 6-2 Arizona in the NFC East.

Wilson passed for 210 yards with a touchdown and ran for another 33 yards. His ability to keep plays alive by getting out of the pocket to either throw or run was never more evident than in the go-ahead drive.

Wilson engineered a 17-play march that covered 79 yards and chewed more than five minutes off the clock. Despite not getting into the end zone, Hauschka came on for a chip-shot field goal.

“We are lucky that we finished the game with a win, with Steven kicking the field goal,” Wilson said. “Offensively, we were moving the ball pretty well. We had some rough plays on third down, but when we needed it we converted and made the plays on the last drive.”

The Cowboys (2-5) are going in the opposite direction. Injuries to quarterback Tony Romo and receiver Dez Bryant started the losing streak that has reached five games.

What we learned about the Cowboys:

1. Maybe this quarterback isn’t much better than the last. Matt Cassel did his best Brandon Weeden imitation by constantly checking down and refusing to challenge the Seahawks deep. Cassel completed 13 of 25 passes for only 97 yards, with a long of 15 yards. Cassel’s best plays were scrambles, as he ran four times for 43 yards.

2. Dez Bryant can’t just be a decoy. The Cowboys hinted at Bryant being used in a more limited role in the week leading up to the game as he returned from a broken foot, but Dallas’ top receiver was on the field for the majority of the offensive snaps. He was only targeted six times and made two catches for 12 yards.

3. The defense is rounding into shape. The addition of defensive end Greg Hardy clearly gave the unit a boost. Seattle managed only one touchdown and 13 points. “I thought we did a good job keeping their quarterback in the pocket, and we did a good job tackling their running back,” coach Jason Garrett said.

Etc.

–WR Dez Bryant lashed out with a profanity-laced tirade at the media regarding a video that went viral accusing him of taunting Seattle WR Ricardo Lockette, who sustained a concussion late in the first half and was taken off the field on a stretcher. “I won’t ever, ever, ever wish bad on a player that’s been knocked down,” Bryant said. “Stop with the (expletive). Not once did I say, ‘That’s what you get.’ I got on my knee and prayed for the man.”

–QB Matt Cassel completed 13 of 25 passes for just 97 yards. He didn’t have a touchdown or an interception, and he hardly tested the Seahawks down the field. “We had our opportunities,” Cassel said. “This game really came down to when we got in the red zone. We’ve got to score touchdowns and can’t settle for field goals.”

–DE Greg Hardy logged his first career interception in the third quarter, helping the Cowboys take the lead. He batted down a Russell Wilson pass with his right hand and hauled in the deflection, returning the pick 9 yards to Seattle 16-yard line. A subsequent field goal gave Dallas a 12-10 edge. Asked about playing well, Hardy replied: “Wins define my ‘good,’ my value scale. If you’re not getting the (win), nothing else matters.”


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