It may have been the final game of the preseason, but fans were treated to an entertaining matchup with players fighting for their NFL lives as the Dallas Cowboys won a late 27-26 success over the Seattle Seahawks.
The Cowboys played backup largely throughout the night while nine of the Seahawks’ 11 offensive starts were on the field. Perhaps it was no surprise that Dallas quickly fell behind. Yet the group returned to even out the score late in the second from last quarter and afterward returned from behind to win the fourth.
Protectively, Dallas brought back recollections of last season when he drove the NFL with 34 focus points. The group earned five in this game, four interceptions and one fumble recovery. The Cowboys dropped 328 yards but the third-placed Seattle had only a 15 percent success rate with the Seahawks making only one trip out of five in the red zone.
Will Grier, on the other side of the ball, spent most of the game behind center for the Cowboys but didn’t do enough to overtake Cooper Rush for the backup quarterback job. He threw only 88 yards in the up-and-down effort although it included two touchdown tosses for a passer rating of 94.5.
Rush completed only two of five attempts for 40 yards but the rest were only for one series of games before resting for the night.
The fight for the backup quarterback spot saw Rush take the first series with offense before Grier then took on duty in the second half. Neither was able to achieve much in the first quarter; the offense achieved a total of 21 yards on its first four possessions.
Seattle was still trying to determine who would be its starting quarterback meaning the defense faced several Seahawks starters. But the unit restricted Geno Smith’s effort to just a 53-yard field goal on the visitors’ first series before Drew Locke was taken by Israel Mukumu to defend the preseason in his next second interception.
But the Seahawks needed only two plays to reach the end field after the Cowboys failed to convert fourth and -4 at the Seattle 44-yard line. Seattle gave a 10–0 lead thanks to Penny Hart completing a 35-yard lock, despite some close coverage from rookie cornerback Daron Bland.
The Cowboys eventually advanced into their first series of the second quarter, with the team hitting the ball six times for 32 yards at the Seattle 6-yard line. Dallas had to settle for a 28-yard field goal courtesy of Brett Maher, but the home side was on board.
The Seahawks answered with their very own field objective. A 29-yard pass got the Cowboys their second interception of the night on Seattle’s next series. Nahshon Wright stepped in front of Locke’s offer and returned the pick 22-yards to the Seahawks 32.
With only a little over two minutes left in the half, the Cowboys saw Grier scramble for 16 yards and then Davis beat Dallas from the first 1-yard line and 13 yards. Two snaps later Grier fired a dart to widen Simi Fehoko behind the end zone and narrowed the score to 13–10 at the break.
That lead would soon be enough for a 10-point advantage for Seattle who started the second half with an 11-play, 75-yard drive that resulted in another touchdown. Dallas had a chance to halt the drive when the Cowboys’ 45-hard line remained unfinished on lock pass at third and -7.
But a harsh penalty on Sam Williams by passersby kept the Seahawks’ drive alive and eventually resulted in a 1-yard touchdown run by DJ Dallas.
Cowboys rally Grier came right back and led the offense on a 10-play, 58-yard drive that set up Maher for a 35-yard field goal that was good. And then in Seattle’s next series, undefeated rookie safety Marquis Bell came down with a tipped ball and returned it from 29 yards to the Seahawks’ 13-yard line.
Two plays later, receiver Brandon Smith made a beautiful catch in the end zone, caught with a tiptoe to the left. And with that suddenly the game was tied at 20-20 and reached the final.
By the first nine minutes of the fourth frame, both teams had a chance to score a field goal. Unfortunately, the Seahawks were good on their own while the Dallas were not. Of course, Seattle’s try was a pair of 28-yard boots, while in the middle, Maher came out for a long 61-yard effort that seemed to make up for the distance, but left just wide.
The Cowboys were not done, however, and Peyton Hendershot in particular at the tight end. The rookie caught a 15-yard pass early in the drive and took a big hit that knocked off his helmet and brought an unnecessary roughness and another 15 yards. But he shrugged it off and bounced back to sprint for another Ben Dinucci pass and 14 yards before diving across the goal line.