SEATTLE (AP) — Those questioning whether the Dallas Cowboys’ start to the season was legit got a resounding answer on Sunday.
Showing no intimidation toward Seattle’s hard-hitting defense or the noisy 12th Man, the Cowboys leaned on the 115 yards rushing from DeMarco Murray and a clutch third-down pass from Tony Romo for a 30-23 win over the Seahawks.
After Murray scored on a 15-yard run with 3:16 left to give Dallas the lead, the Cowboys defense, which made Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson miserable all afternoon, held twice in the final 3 minutes.
The Cowboys forced Seattle to turn the ball over on downs. After Dan Bailey’s third field goal pushed the lead to seven, Rolando McClain intercepted Wilson near midfield with less than a minute remaining to seal one of the more impressive Dallas wins in recent memory.
The Cowboys are 5-1 for the first time since 2007 and beating the defending champions in Seattle gives validity to the surprising start.
Murray became the second running back in NFL history to start a season with six straight 100-yard rushing games, matching Jim Brown. And he did it against the league’s best run defense, which had not allowed a running back more than 38 yards in a game this season.
Dallas’ improved offensive line opened enough space for Murray to run and for the most part kept Romo protected. Romo was sacked only once, and bounced up off the turf from the one hard hit he took from Bobby Wagner on the Cowboys first drive.
And when Romo got pressured on Dallas’ winning touchdown, Terrance Williams made a stunning toe-dragging catch along the sideline for 23 yards to convert a third-and-20. Romo moved away from pressure by Bruce Irvin and found Williams along the sideline in front of the Cowboys bench for 23 yards.
Murray then broke free for 25 yards and a 6-yard run to the Seattle 15. He then capped his record day by cutting back and rolling through Earl Thomas at the goal line.
Romo finished 21 of 32 for 250 yards and two touchdowns. The second TD throw went to Jason Witten, who became the second tight end in NFL history with 900 career receptions.
Wilson ran for a 9-yard touchdown and Mike Morgan returned a blocked punt 25 yards for a score for Seattle. But after being lauded for his Monday night performance, Wilson was part of a miserable day for Seattle’s offense.
He finished 14 of 28 for 126 yards, 53 of those coming on one completion to Jermaine Kearse in the first quarter. Seattle was outgained 401-206 and had just nine first downs. Marshawn Lynch was used sparingly, finishing with only 10 carries for 61 yards and most of Percy Harvin’s plays went backward. Harvin’s three receptions equaled minus-1 yard.
The only reason Seattle was in the game was 14 points on special teams. Doug Baldwin blocked Chris Jones’ punt and Morgan returned it 25 yards for a touchdown and a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. Dwayne Harris muffed a fair catch deep in his own territory in the third quarter and Kevin Pierre-Lewis emerged from the pile with the ball. Two plays later, Wilson kept on a zone-read and sprinted 9 yards to pull Seattle even at 17.
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