In a nail-biter of a game, the Dallas Cowboys narrowly defeated the Seahawks, 24-22. For the Cowboys, this playoff win is the first playoff victory in five seasons. Next weekend, the Cowboys are going to either play the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, or the Los Angeles Rams in Los Angeles in the divisional round of the playoffs. But, we can talk about that later. Now is the time for fans to meditate on the win in At&t Stadium.
Once again, the Cowboys’ defense was exceptional. The Seahawks came into the game as the number one ranked rushing defense in the league. However, due to an exceptional game by defensive linemen, Antwaun Woods, Demarcus Lawrence, and linebackers Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith, the Seahawks were held to only 73 yards on the ground. The dominant run defense led the Seahawks into some very awkward third and long situations.
Lawrence and defensive end, Randy Gregory, did an excellent job on keeping Seahawks’ quarterback, Russell Wilson in the pocket. Wilson is one of the most dangerous quarterbacks in the league when he escapes the pocket. And on occasion, when Wilson managed to escape, Smith kept the quarterback from running the ball and even batted down a few passes.
Early in the game, the defense was fighting without much help from the offense. At the end of the first half, the score was 6-10 Cowboys. But towards the end of the game, the offense started clicking. Quarterback Dak Prescott threw for 226 yards, one touchdown, and one interception that should have been called pass interference on the defense. Prescott also ran for one touchdown and converted on a third and 15 in the red zone by breaking tackles and going airborne to get the first down. Though Prescott did not put up crazy numbers, he was very efficient and was able to distribute the ball to different receivers.
Wide receiver, Amari Cooper, rebounded from a lousy three-game stretch. Cooper went for 106 yards on seven receptions. Just when the offense was stalling, Prescott and Cooper connected for a much-needed conversion.
Running back, Ezekiel Elliott, was a dominant force. He ran for 137 yards on 26 carries (5.3 YPA) and one touchdown. Right when the offense needed to bleed some clock, Elliott put on his cape and went full hero-mode. Late in the game, Elliott had a nasty stiff-arm to a Seahawks’ cornerback.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) January 6, 2019
Though there were many highlights to watch from this game, there were some really bad moments. Wide receiver, Allen Hurns, suffered a gross ankle injury. Just from the look of it, he will be out for the rest of the season. I am not going to show you a video of it because that would verge on immoral. If you want to see it, look it up yourself– but be warned.
Also, receiver Cole Beasley suffered a knee injury but was able to play the rest of the game. The injury definitely was not just a bruise, as Beasley was seen limping between plays and his routes were not up to Beasley’s standards.
But, all in all, the Cowboys played a pretty clean game. Much like the regular season, the team went through ups and downs, but the squad rallied together and brought home the “W”. This team, besides showing off their skills and talents, showed the rest of the nation their mental toughness. The leaders of the team: Prescott, Lawrence, Elliott, and Smith brought the intensity. When these players are clicking, the Cowboys are unstoppable.
Depending on what happens Sunday, the Dallas Cowboys will either play the New Orleans Saints or the Chicago Bears in the divisional round next Saturday/Sunday.