The new motto in the Dallas Cowboys’ locker room is “Win November”. And they took their first successful step on that journey today with the help of a stellar performance from rookie running back DeMarco Murray. The Cowboys defeated the Seattle Seahawks in Arlington on Sunday afternoon, 23-13. Murray rushed for 139 yards and caught four passes for 47 yards in the victory. But it was his ability to run out the clock in the final six minutes that sealed the game for the Cowboys.
It was an inauspicious start for Dallas as they committed two false start penalties and essentially went three and out on their first possession. But a 39 yard pass from QB Tony Romo to WR Dez Bryant on their second series lead to their first score. It was a 20 yard field goal by sure-footed rookie kicker Dan Bailey that gave Dallas the early lead, 3-0.
But Seattle struck back as a 23 yard interference penalty on CB Alan Ball led to a Steven Hauschka 45 yard field goal. CB Orlando Scandrick, who did a wonderful job filling for the injured Mike Jenkins, was able to partially block the attempt, but the ball had enough leg power behind it to go through the uprights anyway. The game was tied, 3-3, at the end of the first quarter.
On Dallas’ next drive, Romo would find WR Miles Austin for a 37 yard gain well inside Seattle territory. Unfortunately, Austin re-injured his hamstring on the play, and he was out for the rest of the game. Austin has been struggling with this injury all year. There was no time table given for his return.
On that same drive, Murray was able to break a 22 yard run to get down to the Seattle one yard line. But, despite having a fresh set of downs to score a touchdown, the Cowboys could not get the ball into the endzone. Instead, they would settle for another 20 yard Bailey field goal. Dallas weakly extended their lead, 6-3.
As the Dallas defense continued to hold the Seahawks offense, Dallas continued to struggle in the redzone. A 32 yard run by Murray led to a sure touchdown catch by Bryant, but the second year wideout was violently hit by CB Richard Sherman on the one yard line and fumbled the ball. It was recovered by Seattle at their own six yard line.
Seattle took advantage of the turnover with a 19 yard run by RB Marshawn Lynch, which eventually led to a 32 yard Hauschka field goal. The game was tied at halftime, 6-6.
The Seahawks opened the second half with a 16 yard Marshawn Lynch run, but a pass deflection by rookie linebacker Bruce Carter on third down ended the drive. That led to great field position by the Cowboys for their opening drive of the 3rd quarter, and that led to Romo finding his favorite target, TE Jason Witten, wide open on a busted coverage play for a 33 yard touchdown pass. The Cowboys take the lead again, 13-6.
QB Tarvaris Jackson would find WR Sidney Rice with a pass on Seattle’s following possession, for a 44 yard gain. That led to a 41 yard field goal attempt by Hauschka. LB Anthony Spencer was able to jump over Seattle’s center and block the kick; the Dallas offense was unable to take advantage of the turnover as they went three and out on the following series.
Seattle’s offense started to warm up again as Jackson would find TE Anthony McCoy for a 31 yard pass play, but on the very next play, DE Sean Lissemore tipped a Jackson pass right into the hands of DE Jason Hatcher. The interception by Hatcher gave the ball right back to the Cowboys’ offense on their own 40 yard line.
Dallas would not squander this opportunity as Romo would find WR Laurent Robinson on a crossing route in the back of the endzone for the touchdown. The Cowboys took a commanding lead early in the fourth quarter, 20-6. This score marked Romo’s 13th passing touchdown of the season.
On the very next series, CB Terence Newman intercepted Jackson on the Cowboy’s own 35 yard line. That turnover led to a 42 yard field goal by Bailey and increased the Boy’s lead, 23-13.
Seattle would not quit, as two punishing Marshawn Lynch runs resulted in a touchdown for the former Buffalo Bill. The Seahawks got on the scoreboard again, midway in the fourth quarter, 23-13.
With just 6:12 seconds left in the game, Murray did his best work. Dallas was able to pound the ball on the ground and get enough first downs using the rookie runner to run the clock down to just 2:11. This is something the Cowboys have been without all year, and it really closed the door on any chance Seattle had of coming back.
Dallas safety Gerald Sensabaugh sealed the game with a disputed interception with just :21 seconds left in the game. WR Doug Baldwin and Sensabaugh both struggled to make the catch on the play, but after review, Dallas was granted the interception and essentially the victory.
Romo had a wonderful day, recording 19 of 31 passes for 279 yards and two touchdowns. Bryant added in 4 receptions for 76 yards. Witten had 4 catches for 71 yards and a touchdown. And Laurent Robinson lead all receivers with 5 receptions for 32 yards and his touchdown.
On the other side of the ball, RB Marshawn Lynch had an excellent day against the Cowboy’s stiff run defense. He had 135 rushing yards and a score. But QB Tarvaris Jackson struggled all game going 17 of 30 for 221 passing yards and three interceptions.
On the Dallas defensive end, Scandrick recorded a team high seven tackles. And rookie punter Chris Jones did a great job in his first NFL game filling in for the injured Matt McBriar.
Dallas improves it’s record to 4-4 and looks to continue their winning ways against the 5-3 Buffalo Bills who were defeated today by the New York Jets, 27-11.
Topics: Anthony McCoy, Anthony Spencer, Buffalo, Dallas Cowboys, DeMarco Murray, Dez Bryant, Doug Baldwin, Gerald Sensabaugh, Jason Witten, Laurent Robinson, Marshawn Lynch, Miles Austin, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, Sidney Rice, Tarvaris Jackson, Terence Newman, Tony Romo