Just about every sports media outlet that ranks stadiums based on how inhospitable they can be for visiting teams finds Seattle ranked at the top. This could be a cause for concern with an already penalty prone Dallas Cowboys offensive line that has gone through constant changes, the most notable of which is Ryan Cook newly starting at center. Cook, who has been a member of the Cowboys for just over two weeks will have his hands full trying to discern Romo’s shotgun cadence in arguably the loudest stadium in the NFL.
The week one victory against the Giants found the Cowboys with 15 penalties (2 declined) including 5 false starts. Penalties have plagued the Cowboys over the last few years and have often made the difference, with many games decided by one possession.
Cook did a great job for us last week, but can the patchwork offensive line function together in such a chaotic environment? I’ve talked at length about what a true blue Dallas Cowboys fan I am. I can accept when we play our hardest and just get beat. I can even accept when we just plain have an off day and lose a game we should have won. However, what I cannot accept is handing the game over to our opponents on a platter of free first downs and thrown away offensive opportunities. If there is one thing that makes me scream to the point my wife comes running in from the other room, this is it. In fact, the only thing that gets me yelling louder are erroneous referee calls (so help everyone in my neighborhood if the Seahawks are given another extra timeout in this game).
I’m sure that Dallas has done their due diligence this week. I’m sure they’ve brought out whatever equipment and used all available facilities to replicate this afternoon’s scenario. Although, the only thing better than planning for a bad situation is changing the situation altogether.
There are few things more enjoyable than watching an opponent’s previously fired up home crowd fall silent, fingers entangled in hair as they throw their head back, hands covering mouths frozen in a gasp of horror, the stone faces (as if the reality of what they have just witnessed has reduced them to a catatonic state). I could really get behind showing more replays of that.
The best scenario for the Cowboys this week is to take the fans out of the equation from the beginning. Striking the Seahawks early could deflate the fans and set the momentum for the rest of the game. There are several ways this can be accomplished.
One of Seattle’s greater strengths, if not the greatest, is their defensive line. This is what makes the noise and our affinity for false starts all the more troubling. I say we take to the air. With Jason Witten
stating he is back to full production status, Bryant healthy and focused, Austin about as healthy as one can expect Austin to be these days, and the emergence of Ogletree, Romo has a lot of targets to play catch with. A few quick passing touchdowns early in the game should sufficiently silence the fans.
I know they’ve only had one game, but there was absolutely nothing impressive about the Seahawks’ offense. With a weak offensive line, some aggressive early blitzes could lead to some quick turnovers, either from a Wilson fumble or interception due to being hurried. Our secondary is strong enough that they need little more than one errant rushed pass to take advantage of. Seattle’s 3rd down conversion rate is sitting at about 31% right now. A few 3 and outs combined with a couple of quick turnovers could have Centurylink Field quiet enough to hear the sound of Jerry Jones’ glasses being cleaned.