IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys have their stiffest test of the season, and quite possibly the biggest in several years this Sunday as they face the defending Super Bowl champions on the road.
A trip to Seattle is more than just an early-season matchup of two of the top teams in the NFC. For the Cowboys, it's a chance to see how they stack up against one of the more physical teams in the league in one of the toughest places to play in the NFL.
Here are the gut feelings for staff writers Nick Eatman, Bryan Broaddus and David Helman.
Bryan Broaddus: For the Dallas Cowboys to go Seattle and win this game on the road in one of the most difficult venues in sports they are going to have to find a way to control the game with their rushing attack. The Seahawks are no strangers to having defending the run and realize that the task ahead for them when dealing with the Cowboys will be a difficult one but one they are prepared to handle. My gut feeling this week is that when the final whistle blows it will be the Seahawks Russell Wilson that we are talking about with the better rushing numbers than DeMarco Murray. It will be the inability of the Cowboys defense to slow Wilson down from running the ball that will ultimately cost them this game.
David Helman: You don't see these very often in the NFL, but I consider this a no-pressure game for the Cowboys. Not many people expect them to win this game, and, honestly, they don't have to. They have exceeded expectations by getting to 4-1, and after Seattle, they have four manageable games – three of them at home – before the bye week. If there's one thing working in the Cowboys' favor, I think it's that they can go up to CenturyLink Field and play loose, like a team with nothing to lose. I think DeMarco Murray will play well, but he'll fall short of 100 yards – mark me down for 83. I also think Tony Romo is going to play a clean, but unspectacular game. The difference will ultimately be Seattle's ability to move the ball on the Dallas defense. Russell Wilson is going to pick up some backbreaking third downs with his feet, and I think the Seahawks will score late to clinch a tight game. Seattle wins, something like 31-20. [embedded_ad]
Nick Eatman: A few weeks ago, in the middle of our radio podcast show "The Lunch Break," I made a prediction the Cowboys, who were sitting at 1-1 at the time, would beat the Seahawks in a few weeks up in Seattle. Little did I know this team would reel off four straight wins and be sitting atop the NFC leaders. For some reason, I felt better about a Cowboys team around 2-3 or 3-2 going into this place and securing a win than I do here at 4-1. I know that seems backwards but this Cowboys team hasn't fared too well with matchups like this. Now, this is a new team and a new season and so far, the Cowboys are proving to us each week they're ready for the challenge. Forgive me for being a little bit hesitant. I think the defense plays really well but it'll be overshadowed by Seattle's ability to limit the Cowboys, and particularly the running game. I see DeMarco Murray getting around 65 yards and most of the passes will be short – giving Witten and Beasley a lot of grabs. This will be low scoring but I think Seattle has too much defense.