Football in Seattle
SEATTLE – The Cowboys traveled to Seattle wearing team-issued sweatsuits rather than the customary coats and ties They flew home last night in the same outfits, all the better to allow them to sing and dance to an Orlando Scandrick/Barry Church-led rendition of Wiz Khalifa’s “We Dem Boyz.”
But for the three hours between the decidedly business-casual? The Cowboys were all business.
“There are a lot of guys in this locker room who don’t care about anything but the Cowboys,’’ said cornerback Brandon Carr. “We accept any challenge.”
The Cowboys were truly dominant in a 30-23 victory over the defending-champ Seahawks at CenturyLink Field, a place where Seattle had lost just once in 19 previous starts. That’s “accepting a challenge.”
For the first time since 2007, Dallas is 5-1 and has its longest winning streak since that season, when the Cowboys finished with an NFC-best 13-3. “There’s no question, this is the type of team we want to be,’’ head coach Jason Garrett said above the musical noise of a jubilant locker room, emphasizing the word “team.’’
The headlines will say DeMarco Murray “led Dallas.’’ Understandable; Murray tied the immortal Jim Brown’s mark with his sixth 100-yard game in a row to open the season, finishing with 113 yards on 28 carries and scoring the game-winning touchdown with 3:16 to play to cap a nine-play, 80-yard drive against the NFL’s top-ranked run defense. But that doesn’t happen without Terrance Williams’ third-and-long tippy-toe catch. Or without backup runners Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar also gashing Seattle. Or without backup tight end Gavin Escobar joining Jason Witten in catching a TD pass. Or without this dominant offensive line and this scrambling defense, which is coming at opponents in waves and with attitude pushed by chip-on-shoulder characters like Scandrick and middle linebacker Rolando McClain, who sealed the win with an interception of befuddled QB Russell Wilson.
There were two disastrous special-teams breakdowns that led directly to 14 gimme points for the Seahawks. Dez Bryant, the spiritual leader of this offense, admitted that last year, that might’ve meant an emotional collapse. “This year, if we want something, we take it,’’ Dez said.
What they wanted, in part, was to prove the naysayers wrong. That’s the piece of the “we-don’t-care’’ platform that doesn’t ring true. These Cowboys — especially the younger generation largely unaware of the Romo/Witten-led 2007 season — only remember last year, when the defense was the laughing-stock worst in football and the reason for a third straight 8-8 finish They only remember three straight losses to close three straight near-contending years,only remember what seems like forever ago when at season’s start many national prognosticators thought it would take them all year to win the five games they’ve won in six weeks.
“Measure THAT!’’ screamed a defiant Scandrick in the winning locker room, as he and Church cranked up the volume and led a defense-wide dance step. “Use THAT as a ‘measuring stick!’’
We will. Beating the Seahawks in Seattle is historic. Starting a season 5-1 is, too, in Dallas, where editions of the franchise that do so are 13-for-13 in terms of making the playoffs.
“No doubt, (Seattle) will be in the playoffs,” said Bryant, speaking in the measured tone of a businessman. “And if we continue to keep doing things right, we’ll see them again.”