The Dallas Cowboys met the Seattle Seahawks in the second game of the 2018 NFL Playoffs, and the game did not disappoint.
Pete Carroll entered today undefeated in the Wild Card round, and Seattle had won six of their last seven games in the regular season. The Cowboys, on the other hand, went 7-1 in Dallas this year; something had to give.
The Cowboys got the ball first and gained chunks of yardage before the Seahawks defense clamped down and forced a Brett Maher field goal. The teams traded punts until midway through the second quarter, when Russell Wilson completed two big passes, including a 40-yard bomb to Tyler Lockett to set up Seattle inside the Dallas 20. Dallas held, and a Seahawks field goal tied the game at three. After Maher missed a 58-yard boot, the Wilson to Lockett battery connected again to set up another Sebastian Janikowski field goal to give the Seahawks a 6-3 lead. The Cowboys put together a two-minute drill highlighted by a 41 yard Elliot run that was capped off with a Michael Gallup touchdown, leading to the halftime score of 10-6.
The story of the first half was the health of the Cowboys wide receivers. Allen Hurns suffered a gruesome ankle injury early in the first, and Cole Beasley’s ankle gave way again on a first down on the opening drive. Janikowski also appeared to tweak something in his kicking leg as he missed a long field goal as the second quarter expired.
The defenses took over at the start of the third, but Wilson and Doug Baldwin were able to connect on a critical third down to keep a drive alive that led to a Wilson rushing touchdown. Mike Davis rushed for the two-point conversion, and suddenly Seattle was back up four.
Dallas answered on the very next drive, with Elliott rushing for a one-yard touchdown.
After a Seattle punt, Dallas drove the ball into the red zone again and looked to be on the verge of scoring when K.J. Wright made an unbelievable interception in the end zone off a jump ball.
Seattle was unable to capitalize, and the Cowboys took over and were able to run the clock down to almost two minutes left. Dak Prescott took off for a big third-down run to the goal line, and punched it in one play later to make it 24-14 with 2:08 to go.
Wilson poured in a late TD, but the loss of Janikowski loomed large as they were unable to pick up an onside kick and fell 24-22.
The Cowboys will have to take their defense on the road next week to either LA or New Orleans, depending on the outcome of the Eagles-Bears game. Meanwhile, for Seattle, the future is bright. Wilson is still their franchise quarterback, and with many draft picks and project signings improving, the rebuild is well ahead of schedule in the Emerald City.