Seattle Seahawks linebacker Heath Farwell (55) reacts after the teammate Jermaine Kearse scored a touchdown against the Denver Broncos during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
The Seattle Seahawks lost three games this season by a combined 15 points on their way to the Super Bowl. The Cowboys lost eight, and again failed to make the playoffs.
While more than 700,000 fans turned out to toast the Seahawks’ victory parade Wednesday, I wondered just how far the Cowboys are from being on Seattle’s level. As in, how many Cowboys could start for the champs?
On offense, I’d say three.
Though he’s a more accurate thrower with more experience, no way even I’d take Tony Romo over Russell Wilson. And as much promise as he has, DeMarco Murray isn’t displacing Marshawn Lynch at running back. Jason Witten would start over Zach Miller at tight end, and if it was my team I’d throw to Dez Bryant over Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate. Toughest call is at left tackle, where Seattle’s Russell Okung is an elite player but Tyron Smith edged him out on the Pro Bowl roster. Travis Frederick is a promising player at center for Dallas, but he doesn’t get the nod over Seattle Pro Bowl pick Max Unger.
On defense, um, maybe two?
In his prime, DeMarcus Ware could start at end but last season showed that prime to clearly be in the rearview mirror. Jason Hatcher’s year would shove him in front of Tony McDaniel at tackle. At linebacker, a healthy Sean Lee starts over Seattle’s Bobby Wagner. But that’s it. None of the Cowboys’ defensive backs even sniff playing time in a Seattle secondary that sent three players to the Pro Bowl.
And on special teams Cowboys’ kicker Dan Bailey missed only two field goals, but so did Seattle Steven Hauschka (he made five more kicks in the regular season, and went 8-of-8 in the playoffs). No reason Bailey beats him out. Maybe give the Cowboys another edge with punter Chris Jones, who averaged 45 yards with 30 kicks inside the 20-yard line, compared to 42 yards and 28 inside the 20 for the Seahawks’ Jon Ryan.
But even considering special teams, of the 24 primary players at most the Cowboys’ roster would infiltrate the Seahawks with only six starters.
In other words, the Cowboys are as far below the Seahawks as you thought they were.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.