Sunday's win over the Arizona Cardinals allowed the Seahawks to secure the NFC's No. 5 seed and a trip to Dallas. A couple hours after a Sebastian Janikowski field goal gave Seattle a 27-24 victory, the Seahawks learned when that game at AT&T Stadium will take place, with the league announcing that the Seahawks and Cowboys will face off in prime time on Saturday, January 5.
The game, which will be broadcast on FOX, will kick off at 5:15 p.m. PT and will be the second meeting between the two teams this season, though both teams, which have matching 10-6 records, have changed and improved considerably since Seattle's 24-13 win in Week 3 of the season.
When the Seahawks hosted the Cowboys in September, they were coming off an 0-2 start and just starting to find their way on offense. The Seahawks also played that game without starting receiver Doug Baldwin, center Justin Britt and linebacker K.J. Wright, but they did have safety Earl Thomas and tight end Will Dissly, who have since gone on injured reserve. The Cowboys have had their share of personnel changes as well since then, and like the Seahawks, who have won six of their last seven, the Cowboys feel like they're playing a lot better now than they were early in the season having won seven of eight to close the season.
"That doesn't matter," linebacker Bobby Wagner said of his team's regular-season win over the Cowboys. "… Everything that happened in the regular season is over. The playoffs are a fresh start. Everybody is the same and you have to come out right. It's whoever comes out and plays their best ball that day, that's who advances. It doesn't matter what your record is—if you have the best record, the worst record—if you come and you're not good on that day, you can get beat. We're confident going in, we've played them before so we have some film on them. They've grown a lot since we played them and we've grown a lot, so it's going to be interesting to see how we play them."
Russell Wilson, who completed 16 of 26 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns in the earlier meeting against Dallas, knows his Seahawks will have their hands full against one of the NFC's hottest teams.
"We have a tough task, Dallas has been great," said Wilson, who on Sunday became the Seahawks' all-time leader in touchdown passes with 196. "Honestly, they've been one of the best teams in the NFL in the past however many weeks, six, seven, eight weeks, across the board. They have a really good defense, they have a really good quarterback in Dak (Prescott), they have a great runner in Zeke (Elliott) too. They have some great players—obviously (Amari Cooper) is making a lot of plays for them. It's going to be a tough battle, it's going to be a tough test, but we're ready for it."
This will be the Seahawks' second playoff game against Dallas, the previous one a memorable Wild Card victory in the 2006 season that featured Jordan Babineaux making a game-saving tackle after Tony Romo mishandled the snap on a potential game-winning field goal, then nearly ran in for a touchdown.
If the Seahawks are able to win and advance to the Divisional Round for the seventh time in nine years under Pete Carroll and John Schneider, they would play either at New Orleans or at the Los Angeles Rams, depending on what happens in Sunday's game between the Eagles and Bears. If the Bears, who are the No. 3 seed, beat the sixth-seeded Eagles on Wild Card weekend, Chicago would go to Los Angeles while Seattle would play at New Orleans on Sunday at 1:40 p.m. PT. But if both Wild Card teams win next weekend, the Eagles would go to New Orleans and the Seahawks would play at L.A. on Saturday at 5:15 p.m. PT.
Fan photos from the Seattle Seahawks' regular-season finale against the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field.