Check out what the Seahawks are saying about the Cowboys leading up to the Week 16 game at AT&T Stadium.
Head Coach Pete Carroll
(Opening statement…) "This is a good looking Dallas club. They've been playing really well the last few weeks winning games and getting their running back [Ezekiel Elliott] back. They look well-rounded. It's been a common theme it seems for month now that the teams we're playing have a similar formula that they're all committed to the running game. They play solid defense and they're good on special teams. These guys are all of that; we've seen quarterback play and running back play, we've seen a lot of good stuff. This game is going to be a great challenge and going to their place. It's a game that they have to have and a game that we have to have, so we're going for it."
(On if Ezekiel Elliott's running game and style anything he can compare or has seen that he has seen the last couple of weeks…) "No, they have a really strong commitment to the running game, and a good, diverse running game. They haven't changed that much. I don't see much change at all; it's really a good variety of things that they believe in. They're guards can get out, they can pull and get out on the edge, and they can zone-block. They do some stuff up inside that's good too, and I don't see any variance, really."
(On what is unique about Ezekiel Elliott's running style…) "He's really fast for a big guy. He has a really good burst, and his strength allows him to run through tackles. He's a good tackle-breaker, but I think the thing that is most unique is his burst for his size."
(On what they need to do to clean up the run defense…) "Yeah, it's always the same themes; we have to play really disciplined, and we have to tackle really well. That's the running game; it isn't about being a hard-nosed tough guy, that's not it. You have to do right and you have to do things right play after play, and the better the team is, the more they take advantage of your mistakes. You just have to be errorless, that's how you have to go about it. We made some misses in some reads and some things that could be a lot sharper, and it just leads to the easy yardage for them. Good running backs take advantage of that."
(On if Rod Smith of Dallas looks like he thought he might look like when Seattle had him…) "I think he has done really well. It's great that he's had the chance to play and get some good looks. We liked him; as soon as it happened, we were hoping to get him back, and we didn't get him back., he got scooped up and John [Schneider] has always kicked himself about that one, because we liked him a lot."
Linebacker Bobby Wagner
(On the importance of getting the run defense cleaned up…) "It is very important. The first thing we want to do is stop the run and we haven't been doing that. I feel that it's a mindset. It's a situation where we've been down this road before and all it takes is focus and everybody doing their job to get back on the right track. I feel like everybody is there. We just got to go out there and execute it. He is going to come out and they are going to try and hand the ball off a lot and we are looking forward to it."
(On what he sees from Ezekiel Elliott and what challenges he presents…)"He is a very talented runner. I think having a strong run game like that not only helps him, but helps Dak [Prescott] and we have to try to make them one-dimensional. Don't let them get the running game started and then they open up the passing game and boots come and all those different things, so we have to focus on one task at a time, but stopping the run is a huge priority."
(On what he has seen from Dak Prescott in his sophomore season…)"He has a lot more confidence, a lot more control of the huddle, a lot more control of the game. He tries to manage the game well. It's kind of been hard a little bit when you don't have your running back, back there, but I feel like he is doing a great job and it is going to be fun playing against him."
Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach Tom Cable
(On what challenges Dallas presents them…) "Well, going on the road, playing in a place that has a big crowd and a lot of noise, so we have to handle that, and then a really good football team. It's another challenge for us offensively, for sure."
(On what challenges does the Cowboys' line present…) "Well, it's another good front-seven, so there are some things that we want to work on to improve from last week, but at the same time, just continue to grow on the things that we're doing well."
Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell
(On what stands out about Dallas' front seven…)"Again, it's a challenge for us. We have to obviously make sure that Demarcus Lawrence doesn't wreck the game for us. You know we had issues last week, like we just talked about but we have to come back from it and we have to be on point. We have to communicate better. We have to be on the same page better. We have to get the ball out quicker. We have to throw and catch. We have to run. We have to do everything better than we did last week."
(On how do you see a player's impact in his first game back from an injury or a suspension in terms of effort or hunger…)"Are you talking about Ezekiel in this case? I mean I think a lot of times, they come back hungry for sure. Also, sometimes they can come back with time off, I can even just throw injuries in there, but they come back maybe a little rusty. So it is important to just kind of get back and play football. It's important to have a week of practice under your belt. I think that helps, but it is important to just be able to come back and just play and not try and do too much because I think you can definitely over try after, 'oh, I'm going to show you what I got,' after some of that long layoff."
Defensive End Michael Bennett
(On if it is a weird situation that this game against Dallas is a must-win game for them…) "No; I don't think you put too much pressure on it because when you put too much pressure on it, you end up exploding. I think we just have to continuously be who we are and I think we just have to focus on what we need to focus on and don't try to do too much, play our abilities, and do what we can do."
(On what he expects to see from Ezekiel Elliott on Sunday…)"I think Ezekiel Elliott is a once-in-a-lifetime type of running back. Obviously, he can do every single thing that you can do as a running back; he can run the ball, he can catch the ball, and he can block, and he's a special talent. I think when he is in the game, the Cowboys are one of the hardest teams to face in the NFL. I think him coming back is always a great challenge and especially after having the run-defense that we have had the last two weeks, so I know he is probably wanting to run, but we have to be ready for what he does and what we can do best."
(On if he thinks it'll help Ezekiel Elliott that he has fresh legs since not playing for six weeks…) "He's definitely going to have fresh legs, and I've seen the pictures. It looks like he's been working out every single day on the beach, so I know that he is ready to go out there and run. He's healthy right now, so a lot of guys are beat up and we're expecting him to run the ball. Of course, he is one of the best running backs in the NFL."
(On what Ezekiel Elliott opens up for their offense…)"I think just the play-action game comes alive because he's such a great running back that you have to respect the running game every single play, and Dak [Prescott] is a really good quarterback too. You have Dez [Bryant] on the outside, [Terrence] Williams and Jason Witten is the ultimate tight end that you can possibly have; whether it's being just caring off the field and being just a great player. Jason Witten is one of those guys, so they have a lot of weapons and it's one of those teams that you always have to get ready for. Their defense is stacked too, so this is going to be a great challenge; I think this is what the fans want. They want to see two teams in a position who want to win and they have to go out there and play a great game and give the fans what they want, and give the NFL what they want. The games have to come down to these types of scenarios to make the game better."
(On what makes the Cowboys' offensive line so good…) "I think it's continuity; I think it's the ability to be able to keep a group together for a long period of time and be able to jell together. They've been jelling for a long time and I think that's why they're so great at what they do because they understand where people are going to be at and they can talk the same language. I think when you have that lingo together, it makes you an explosive team."
Defensive Coordinator Kris Richard
(On if there is a common thread between the last two running backs they have faced and now a third in Ezekiel Elliott this weekend that are going to come right at them…)"Yeah, they're just really good. They're good running backs, they have good size, good vision, and really good speed. They have the ability to break tackles and they have home run speed, so it's about tackling. That's what it comes down to; just sound, fundamental tackling."
(On what other areas of Dallas' offense is he looking at…)"The check-downs, screens, it's a valuable running back, and how it's going to try to feature the guy and just try to put the ball in his hands as much as you possibly can. The boots, that's one thing that kind of shows up, and then obviously play-action." (On how Dallas runs its offense with Ezekiel Elliott and him as a running back) "Yeah, I mean he is featured. There is no doubt about it. He is a special back. I said, a lot of times, especially in this league right now, the running game is typically defined by your running back. They have a really good running game, they have really good offensive line, but they got a really good running back also."