The Seahawks host the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday in a matchup of two high-powered offenses that feature elite quarterbacks throwing to talented receivers, and dynamic running backs that give their respective offenses physical, productive running games to complement those explosive passing games. To learn more about the Seahawks' Week 3 opponent, we reached out to DallasCowboys.com staff writer David Helman with five questions about the Cowboys:
Q: What type of changes has new head coach Mike McCarthy brought to the Cowboys?
Helman: The most obvious one is probably his aggressive approach. The term "analytics" gets overused and misused a lot in football these days, but it certainly seems like McCarthy is leaning on probabilities in his decision-making process. The Cowboys went for it on 4th-and-3 from the Rams' 14-yard line in Week 1. This past week McCarthy called two fake punts against the Falcons, and he famously went for the two-point conversion while trailing by nine points with 4:57 to play. The irony is that none of these decisions worked, but McCarthy has been undeterred when questioned about them. Under his watch, it sounds like the Cowboys are going to make aggressive decisions all season long.
Q: Two games in, what has been the most encouraging thing about Dallas' play, and what is most concerning?
Helman: Almost everything about the offense is pretty encouraging. Dak Prescott continues to play at a fantastic level, the receivers look as advertised and Ezekiel Elliott is off to his hottest start in years. Even the offensive line, which is compromised by injuries, has held up fairly well. Seahawks fans can probably relate to this, but the pass rush is probably the most concerning thing to this point. The Cowboys employ four Pro Bowlers on their defensive front, and they have just two sacks to show for it. It's obviously early, and these guys are still learning a new scheme, but it's going to have to get better—especially against a quarterback like Russell Wilson.
Q: With injuries the at cornerback, how concerning is pass defense going against a red-hot Russell Wilson?
Helman: It's not what you'd call ideal, obviously. This was already one of the weaknesses of the team, and now the Cowboys are without two of their preferred starters. Trevon Diggs has shown flashes of potential, but he's still a rookie heading into his third career game. This is going to be a challenge for him, as well as guys like Jourdan Lewis and Daryl Worley. Going back to the previous question, it would be a huge help for those guys if the Dallas pass rush can get going and make life more difficult for Wilson.
Q: Dak Prescott's contract has been a big topic of discussion for a couple of years now. That clearly hasn't been a distraction for him based off his play so far, what's been the key to him getting off to a good start amidst so much speculation about his future?
Helman: Honestly, I think the speculation is overrated at this point. Last year was a different story, because Dak and his reps were talking with the Cowboys during training camp and into start of the season. This year, the rules of the NFL's franchise tag prevent negotiations from happening until the season is over. So Dak has some peace of mind that all he can do his play. And to this point, he is letting his play do all the talking. It's early, but if the first two weeks are any indicator, I don't think he needs to worry too much about the speculation. One way or another, he's going to be worth a boatload of money in 2021.
Q: What are a couple of matchups that you think could make the biggest difference in this game?
Helman: I really hope we get to see a lot of battles between Trevon Diggs and D.K. Metcalf. Obviously, anyone reading this knows what Metcalf brings to the table. Diggs is probably the best bet to counter that blend of size and speed, as he stands roughly 6'2, 205 pounds and can run a 4.40 40-yard dash. It's going to be a big challenge for the rookie, but that could be a fun matchup. And how could I not mention Ezekiel Elliott and Jamal Adams? The first big moment of Zeke's pro career came during a preseason game at Century Link Field, as he had several big-time collisions with Kam Chancellor in his very first NFL snaps. I have a feeling we're going to have some déjà vu this weekend, as Zeke and Adams will be looking for each other every time he touches the ball.
The Seahawks and Cowboys face off for the 21st time during Week 3 of the 2020 season on Sunday, September 27 at 1:25 p.m. Take a look back at photos from previous games played between the two teams.