Two up and down teams go head to head in an NFC matchup Sunday, as Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys travel to Seattle to take on Russell Wilson and the Seahawks.
Neither side has been thoroughly impressive, as the Cowboys sit at 1-1 after a week 1 smothering by the Carolina Panthers by a score of 16-8. This was followed by a close divisional win against the Giants, 20-13, on Sunday night.
The Seahawks have fallen far and fallen hard from those Super Bowl contending teams of just a few years ago. Losing 24-27 week 1 against the Broncos, and falling 24-17 to the Bears on Monday night, the Seahawks are in unfamiliar territory, at the bottom of the NFC West.
The Seahawks are 1.5 point favorites at home on MyBookie, with an Over/Under set at 41.5.
After an awful showing offensively in week 1, the Cowboys seemed more settled in on Sunday night. Dak Prescott has not thrown for more than 170 yards in either game, but was noticeably more comfortable against the Giants, using his mobility to his advantage, and doing just enough to move the chains and supplement Ezekiel Elliott and the run game.
Zeke has struggled thus far in the 2018 campaign, with his longest run going for just 19 yards. The offensive line has to take some of the blame, missing All-Pro center Travis Frederick and still breaking in a rookie at left guard in Connor Williams.
The story in Dallas however has been the defense. Led by edge rusher DeMarcus Lawrence, the Cowboys defense has really stepped up from a unit that has been a liability the past few seasons. The front has torn apart shaky offensive lines this season, and the secondary has allowed just 1 pass longer than 20 yards.
Injuries and Inactive Watch
DT Maliek Collins (knee)- questionable, EDGE Randy Gregory (concussion)- questionable, C Travis Frederick (illness)- out, LB Sean Lee (hamstring)- expected to play
Russell Wilson has done everything he can and then some to keep the Seahawks competitive these first 2 games, but it just hasn’t been enough. Russdiculous really only has one rival when it comes to out of structure plays, and that man is Aaron Rodgers, but Wilson has struggled with those off-schedule plays thus far without go-to-guy Doug Baldwin.
The offensive line has been atrocious, allowing 32 pressures, good for top 5 in the league as well as letting Wilson go down an alarming 12 times through 2 games. The run game has done little to supplement Wilson, going for 138 yards and failing to find the endzone this season.
Defensively, the Seahawks defense has faced a lot of turnover, but has done a solid job replacing guys like CB Richard Sherman, S Kam Chancellor, and EDGE Cliff Avril by committee. In the back end, CB Shaquill Griffin and S Bradley McDougald have been impressive, with 2 interceptions apiece.
Injuries and Inactive Watch
CB Tre Flowers (hamstring)- questionable, WR Doug Baldwin (knee)- doubtful, LB Bobby Wagner (groin)- questionable, C Justin Britt (shoulder)- questionable
Matchups to Watch
Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott vs Seahawks LBs
Cowboys WRs vs Seahawks CB Shaquill Griffin
Seahawks OTs vs Cowboys EDGE DeMarcus Lawrence
Seahawks TEs vs Cowboys S/LBs
This game has the potential to be really ugly. The Cowboys offense has been almost nonexistent thus far, and I don’t see Dak getting fully back on track against an underrated Seahawks secondary. The Cowboys will have to play to their identity, built on strong defense, and controlling the time of possession and turnover battles, minimizing the time Russell Wilson has the ball in his hands.
The Cowboys need to get Zeke rolling, and this is a good opportunity to do so against a banged up Seattle front 7. If linebackers Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright are unavailable for a second week in a row, Elliott should be primed for a 2 touchdown type of game.
Seattle is gonna struggle up front on offense against a fierce Cowboys D-line. Edge rushers Von Miller and Khalil Mack have feasted on Russell Wilson through 2 weeks, and DeMarcus Lawrence should put up big numbers Sunday as well.
A late bomb or 2 may torch the Cowboys improved secondary as Wilson tries to will the Hawks back into the game, but Dallas’ defense is comparable in my opinion to what he has faced these last 2 weeks.
Seattle is never truly out of it with Russell driving the bus, but I see Dallas winning up front on both sides of the ball, and walking out of Seattle with another win this week. I’ll take the Cowboys and the points.
Final Pick: Dallas (+1.5) and Moneyline