Notes: Defensive Effort Goes For Naught

SEATTLE - For the third straight game, the Cowboys faced the NFL's No. 1 offense. And for the third straight game, the Cowboys defense won the battle.

But after nearly wasting last week's dominating effort against the Giants, the Cowboys weren't able to take advantage of a defensive performance that held the high-powered Seahawks in check for most of the game, dropping a 13-10 decision here at Qwest Field as time expired.

After Seattle took the opening kickoff and drove inside the 10-yard line, a drive ending Terence Newman's interception, the Seahawks never returned inside the Cowboys' 25 until their touchdown drive in the final minute of play.

"I thought our defense played pretty well today," Parcells said. "I thought we played outstanding, as a matter of fact. We did a good job on the run. But (Alexander) got loose there on that draw at the end. That hurt."

Alexander's draw play, an 11-yard run, was his longest of the game, but it did set up the game-tying touchdown from Matt Hasselbeck to tight end Ryan Hannam.

In the last three games, the defense has given no more than the 13 points scored by Seattle and the Giants, and then just three to Philadelphia. And, the defense has given up just three touchdowns in the past four games.

Ratings Hit

Matt Hasselbeck entered the game with the second-highest quarterback rating in the NFC, his 96.5 behind only Drew Bledsoe's 100.4.

But both quarterbacks ratings will take a major hit after Sunday's game.

Bledsoe had a season-low 136 passing yards, to go along with the two interceptions and just one touchdown pass to Keyshawn Johnson. Add it all up and Bledsoe finished the game with a passer rating of 50.0, obviously a season-low.

And Hasselbeck wasn't much better. He was 23-of-42 for 224 yards and two interceptions, along with one touchdown, for a 58.0 quarterback rating.

Ware Are The Sacks?

Not only did Cowboys rookie DeMarcus Ware see his four-game streak of at least one sack come to an end, but the entire defense registered just one against the Seahawks.

The Cowboys entered the game with 20 sacks through first six weeks, averaging 3.33 a game.

But only Bradie James' takedown of Hasselbeck in the second quarter was the only sack recorded by the Cowboys on Sunday. However, they did force the Seattle quarterback to get called for intentional grounding twice, including one in the fourth-quarter when linebacker Scott Shanle nearly had Hasselbeck to the ground before his underhanded toss to no one in the flat drew a penalty.

The Cowboys now have 21 sacks after recording 33 all of last season. This was the first time all season they were held to less than two sacks in a game.

Keep It Short

The Cowboys have had plenty of big plays in the passing game this season, but couldn't burn the Seahawks deep on this day.

The only deep pass thrown all game turned into an interception by Bledsoe, whose pass was deflected, then bounced off Terry Glenn's leg before settling into the hands of Seattle safety Michael Boulware.

Bledsoe's longest completion was a 34-yard pass to Jason Witten, who ran about half of the yards after the catch.

Parcells said the rainy weather was only a small factor, but nothing significant.

"It wasn't a great day for throwing," Parcells said. "But that's not big a deal."

The second-longest pass for the Cowboys was a 19-yard hookup from Bledsoe to Peerless Price, who played his most significant minutes of the season. Price, who replaced an injured Patrick Crayton (ankle) as the third receiver, had just the one catch. But he also filled in on punt returns, recording 17 yards on five returns.

Terry Glenn, who entered the game with a team-high 29 catches for 582 yards, had four catches for 35 yards.

Game Points

  • Playing their third straight game without inside linebacker and defensive captain Dat Nguyen (neck injury), the Cowboys got another solid effort from Bradie James, who has taken over calling the defensive plays. James also took over the team-lead in tackles, picking up five more on Sunday. James and Nguyen both had 31 stops heading into the game.
  • Bradie James became the 12th different player to record a sack for the Cowboys this season. He dropped Matt Hasselbeck for a seven-yard loss in the second quarter.
  • It was a busy day for both punters - Mat McBriar and Seattle's Tom Rouen getting nine punts each. McBriar averaged 40.3 yards a punt, and had five downed inside the 20. Rouen averaged just 37.2, but did have a 59-yard punt in the second quarter.
  • Terence Newman picked up his second interception of the season, catching a deflected pass by James at the 7-yard line that was intended for Seattle receiver Peter Warrick. Newman is now tied with Anthony Henry for the team-lead with two interceptions each.
  • Scott Fujita led the Cowboys in tackles with six stops, receiving his most playing time of the regular season while alternating series with Al Singleton at right outside linebacker.
  • Seattle running back Shaun Alexander has yet to post a 100-yard game against the Cowboys in four career meetings. His 61-yard effort was his lowest output of the 2005 season and the first time he was held out of the end zone since a Week-1 loss in Jacksonville.
  • Game-day Inctives: RB Julius Jones, LB Dat Nguyen, G Stephen Peterman, WR Patrick Crayton, DT Thomas Johnson, DE Eric Ogbogu, DE Kenyon Coleman and QB Drew Henson (third quarterback).

Short Shots

While Alexander might have rushed for only 61 yards, he did gain enough yuards to surpass Chris Warren (also an ex-Cowboy) as Seattle's all-time rushing leader. Alexander needed 55 yards to do so, now leading Warren, 6,713 to 6,706 . . . Cowboys wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson now has four touchdown catches in seven games, after recording six last year . . . The Cowboys held the ball for 34:08 on Sunday and have won the time-of-possession battle in every game this season . . . With a career-high 95 rushing yards, Barber became the fourth-different running back to lead the team in rushing for an individual game this season .

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