K.J. Wright and Earl Thomas put the hurt on Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times)

Seahawks punch Cowboys out of playoff picture with 21-12 road victory

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K.J. Wright and Earl Thomas put the hurt on Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times)
K.J. Wright and Earl Thomas put the hurt on Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times)

The Cowboys are not a good football team and the Seahawks did them a favor Sunday by eliminating them from playoff contention. With the victory, Seattle stays in the hunt for the post-season with one winnable game to play at home in CenturyLink Field Sunday remaining.

Of course, Atlanta (9-6) needs to cooperate, but at least the remaining NFC competition has now been rendered irrelevant.

Thank goodness the Seattle (9-6) defense came to play, since from an offensive perspective, the Seahawks should have lost their match-up against Dallas (8-7) Sunday afternoon.

Trailing 6-0, things were decidedly not going Seattle’s way late in the second quarter until cornerback Byron Maxwell punched the football right out of Dallas receiver Dez Bryant’s hands.

Seattle recovered and five plays later, Russell Wilson connected once again with his primary TD target Jimmy Graham who snagged his 10th scoring grab of the year. After Blair Walsh’s successful extra point made the score 7-6, Seattle never looked back.

Dallas managed to take a 9-7 lead into halftime, but on the Cowboys’ first possession after the break, Justin Coleman picked-off a Dak Prescott pass and returned the ball 30 yards for score. Walsh gave Seattle a 14-9 lead.

The Cowboys added another field goal to draw within two at 14-12, but Prescott tossed another pass to a Seattle defender, this time K.J. Wright.

The Seahawks put together their best drive of the game on a march that lasted 13 plays and covered 79 yards consuming almost seven minutes of clock. The drive ended with a 6-yard grab by Doug Baldwin which ended the scoring in the game.

Thanks to two Dan Bailey missed field goals in the closing minutes of the game, the Cowboys were unable to close the gap although they did have chances.

How’s this for a stat…The Seahawks committed 11 penalties for a total of 142 negative yards. The Seattle offense combined for 136 net-yards in the victory over Dallas. Good teams can’t do that and expect to win.

Russell Wilson totaled only 93 passing yards to go with his two scores and had an INT-free day but was sacked 3 times for 33 yards.

The Seattle defense was charged all day and combined for four sacks on the the Cowboy QB (Griffin, Bennet, Clark, Jordan). They group, led in tackles by Earl Thomas (11), held the returning all-world running back Ezekiel Elliot to 97 yards on 24 carries. Dez Bryant caught three passes for 44 yards.

Next Up

The season comes down to one last game, a home game against the Arizona Cardinals (7-8). The Cardinals have alternated loss-wins since falling to the Titans on the road in early November and are now coming off a 28-0 blanking of the New York Giants. So, by schedule they are due for a loss.

Seattle earned a 22-16 victory over Arizona earlier in the season yet the Seahawks have dropped 2-of-3 home games down the stretch. If Seattle wins, as they darn well should now, and if the Falcons lose, which the most likely will, Seattle will find themselves in the playoffs once again.

And once there, really, what teams in the NFC are that scary-good?

Should a rematch with the LA Rams occur, smart money will be on a very different outcome than the 42-7 game played in Seattle only a week ago.

The Seattle offense is, unproductive, at times to say the least, but mostly scores when they need to. If the defense can play like it did Sunday against Dallas, then why not a long playoff run can the Seahawks make?

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