The Seahawks stayed on this one till the very finish. However finally, that they had no reply for the Cowboys’ potent combo of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott.
There have been moments on this entertaining NFC wild-card recreation when it appeared as if the Seahawks may flip the nook, make an enormous play, mount a livid rally and silence the Dallas Cowboys.
However in a recreation that noticed 4 lead modifications, Dallas’ two fourth-quarter touchdowns finally proved an excessive amount of for the Seahawks to beat.
The Cowboys gained 24-22 at AT&T Stadium on Saturday night time to remove Seattle from the postseason.
Right here’s what the nationwide media needed to say about that.
COWBOYS 24, SEAHAWKS 22
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NFL.com’s Herbie Teope says the key to the Cowboys’ success lies in how they stuffed the Seahawks’ operating backs. It didn’t assist that Seattle refused to push for factors via the air.
The Cowboys’ protection proved to be probably the most constant unit on the staff all through the season and it as soon as once more stepped to the plate in a recreation of power towards power. The Seahawks’ dashing assault completed the common season ranked first within the NFL (160 yards per recreation) and squared off in a heavyweight struggle towards the Cowboys’ fifth-ranked run protection, which is anchored by linebackers Jaylon Smith and rookie Leighton Vander Esch. The Dallas defenders beat Seattle to the punch early and sometimes within the recreation, and offered the knockout blow by holding Seattle’s vaunted floor recreation to a mere 73 yards. Seahawks operating again Chris Carson, who rushed for 102 yards towards the Cowboys in Week three, discovered the going robust Saturday. The Cowboys protection swarmed the road of scrimmage, limiting Carson to 20 yards dashing on 13 carries. … Regardless of the bottom recreation struggling, Seattle tried to remain true to its id by operating the soccer all through the competition. It got here at a price, although, as six of the Seahawks’ 12 possessions resulted in three-and-outs, together with the group’s first three possessions. The Seahawks would end the sport with a depressing third-down conversion price, going 2 of 13 (15 %), which contributed to Dallas dominating time of possession (34:50-25:10).
The Washington Publish’s Sally Jenkins says dropping Sebastian Janikowski to a thigh damage within the second quarter pressured the Seahawks’ hand within the fourth.
The lack of their kicker to a leg damage turned the Seattle Seahawks into gamblers by necessity, go-for-brokers. And which may have damaged the Dallas Cowboys of their NFC first-round assembly. However that is a completely totally different Cowboys outfit than the overpromising, underachieving one the NFL has recognized so properly these days. These Cowboys have as a lot grit as glamour, and they’re within the divisional spherical after a 24-22 victory over the Seahawks on Saturday night time at AT&T Stadium. … They’ve obtained a protection that’s among the many greatest within the league, a pure bully in operating again Ezekiel Elliott and a younger fury of a quarterback in Dak Prescott, whose decisive one-yard scoring run with 2:08 to go got here simply after he virtually cartwheeled into the top zone to cap a 16-yard scamper on third and 14. It ate up what little reasonable hope the Seahawks nonetheless had, after being largely manhandled for a lot of the night time and dropping kicker Sebastian Janikowski to an obvious muscle pressure on the finish of the primary half.
CBSSports.com’s John Breech says Ezekiel Elliott’s exhausting operating powered the Cowboys to this huge playoff win, however the Seahawks didn’t do themselves any favors.
To select up their first playoff win in 4 years, the Cowboys did what they they’ve carried out numerous this season: They fed Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott, who completed 2018 because the NFL’s main rusher with 1,434 yards, slowly wore down the Seahawks protection on an evening the place he carried the ball 26 occasions for 137 yards and a landing. Elliott tends to shine within the fourth quarter, and that’s precisely what he did towards Seattle. With simply 7:20 left to play and the Cowboys clinging to a 17-14 lead, Dallas wanted to place collectively a time-consuming drive, and they also determined to feed Zeke. On an 11-play drive that ran 5:12 off the clock and primarily iced the sport, Elliott carried the ball 5 occasions for 31 yards. The Seahawks might solely watch as valuable seconds ticked away after every one among Elliott’s carries. … Elliott’s efficiency on the drive arrange Dak Prescott for a one-yard rating that proved to be the game-winning landing.
ESPN.com’s Brady Henderson says Janikowski’s exit pressured the Seahawks to go to a backup plan
With Janikowski out, the Seahawks tried profitable two-point tries on their solely two touchdowns of the second half and had rookie punter Michael Dickson deal with the following kickoffs. They transformed a fourth-and-5 from the Dallas 39-yard line earlier than the primary of these two scores — a Russell Wilson Four-yard landing run — although they could have been in four-down territory there even with a wholesome Janikowski. … Carroll stated Janikowski’s absence pressured Seattle to regulate its playcalling with an eye fixed in the direction of avoiding area objective conditions. “Completely. We needed to change. We have been in a special mode,” Carroll stated. “We have been nonetheless able to kick a subject objective if we needed to, however we have been going to do what we might to keep away from that and never make that the difficulty.”
ESPN’s Henderson additionally says this season confirmed the Seahawks are able to compete once more.
The Seahawks far exceeded outdoors expectations after an offseason roster retooling and some critical accidents claimed a few of the most impactful gamers in franchise historical past. They have been hardly devoid of expertise as a few of the extra pessimistic projections appeared to imagine, however getting 10 wins and a playoff look qualifies as a big accomplishment after dropping or shifting on from the likes of Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett, Kam Chancellor, Cliff Avril, Jimmy Graham, Earl Thomas and others. If the one constructive improvement to return out of this season was the emergence of the subsequent group of core gamers, 2018 would have felt like a hit even within the absence of a playoff berth. The Seahawks received each.
David Moore of the Dallas Morning Information says that from the Dallas perspective, you possibly can’t overstate the importance of the Cowboys’ win over Seattle.
You’ll be able to’t maintain saying the Cowboys have two particular gamers in Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott when you don’t begin to win video games like Saturday night time. Jason Garrett can’t inform proprietor Jerry Jones this workforce is trending in the correct course if three seasons deep into the careers of those two younger stars the franchise has no playoff wins. … The youngest group within the NFL playoffs went toe-to-toe with top-of-the-line groups within the convention during the last seven seasons and didn’t blink. True, the Seahawks are a staff in transition, not the proud Tremendous Bowl champion of some years in the past. However the best way Dallas superior to subsequent week’s divisional spherical to face both New Orleans or the Los Angeles Rams speaks volumes. It was Prescott and Elliott who took management within the fourth quarter to show a four-point deficit right into a 10-point lead. The Seahawks did get a late landing and two-point conversion, however the injury was finished.
The Ringer’s Danny Heifetz says the Seahawks ran themselves out of the playoffs. (Which can also be what our columnist Matt Calkins concluded.)
NFL groups ran much less in 2018 than some other season in NFL historical past. Dashing makes an attempt per group per recreation dipped under 26 for the primary time since at the least 1936, when stats began being tracked. In the meantime, groups additionally scored 23.three factors and gained 352.2 yards per workforce per recreation, the second-highest mark of all time for every class. These two stats are associated. Passing is extra environment friendly than operating, and your complete NFL is operating much less and scoring extra. …You’d by no means comprehend it from watching the Seahawks, who fell to the Dallas Cowboys 24-22 on Saturday night time due to a stunningly conservative recreation plan. Head coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer caught to the run regardless of MVP-caliber quarterback Russell Wilson idling within the backfield like an unused getaway Ferrari in a financial institution theft. Seattle adopted up its solely playoff-less season of Russell Wilson’s profession in 2017 with one thing worse in 2018: a playoff loss that would have been a win had the Seahawks bothered to let Wilson play quarterback.
Yahoo! Sports activities’ Charles Robinson says this win over Seattle was a second of vindication for Cowboys GM Jerry Jones and HC Jason Garrett.
After 4 lengthy years with nothing to point out for all of the angst and a whole lot of tens of millions in salaries spent, the Dallas Cowboys received vindication for a second. Jerry Jones will take it and sleep properly for an evening. … He’ll take it after all of the postgame miseries the previous 4 years, when the Cowboys proprietor awoke to his seasonal media guillotine. He’ll take it after the offseasons he was denounced for both being frustratingly passive or nonsensically aggressive. He’ll take it for the fading glories and missed alternatives that left him crushed in so many Januarys. He’ll take it as a result of he doesn’t have many of those campaigns left, one thing that hit residence onerous when good friend and Houston Texans proprietor Bob McNair died in November. … However perhaps greater than something, he’ll take it for some easy vindication for himself and head coach Jason Garrett, two males who’ve clung collectively by way of almost a decade of seasons that led to chapter.
Random aspect word: SI.com’s Charlotte Carroll factors out that the Seahawks pulled off a miraculous cowl towards the Cowboys, thanks largely to Janikowski’s damage.
(Janikowski’s) damage performed an enormous position for bettors as the sport drew to an in depth. … Seattle was down 24–14 with beneath two minutes to play when Russell Wilson related with Tyler Lockett to maneuver the ball downfield. The Seahawks scored a landing on fourth down after which transformed on the two-point try after deciding to not go together with Dickson on the additional level. … The Cowboys closed as 2.5-point favorites, and Cowboys bettors in all places have been cursing their luck. The entire closed at 43.5, so Wilson’s last-minute TD throw to J.D. McKissic additionally prompted chaos on that entrance in Vegas.