Three plays were all it took for Dallas to get yet another injury scare surrounding Tony Romo.
The quarterback lasted just 90 seconds into the Cowboys' 27-17 preseason loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night before leaving with what appeared at first to be a potentially significant injury, but ended up being minor.
Romo was tackled from behind by Seattle's Cliff Avril on the third play from scrimmage as Romo scrambled from the pocket.
He immediately grabbed at his back, crumpled on the field while trainers sprinted from the Dallas sideline and images of Romo's injury problems from last year immediately flashed to mind.
Turned out it was all just a scare. Romo walked off the field without assistance, threw passes on the sideline and lobbied for a return to the game. Dallas coach Jason Garrett opted to play it safe and Romo donned a baseball hat as a spectator the rest of the night.
"That was a perfect timed situation. I was going into the slide and he obviously caught me from behind," Romo said.
"In a weird way I feel good about the fact that was probably as tough of a hit I took on the back as I've had in the last five years. In that regard I feel very lucky that it could hold up and keep going."
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones immediately felt the anxiety, but said there should be no issue with Romo being ready for Week 1. Romo said his back felt fine other than typical soreness.
"I just think everyone had a scare," Jones said. "And he was not hurt. He said he wasn't hurt. He wanted to go back in. He could have gone back in and played but I praise Jason. It was his decision."
Avril said he checked with some Dallas players to make sure Romo was OK.
"I thought he was going to try to throw it so I tried to swipe down and get his arm but I guess the force just, whatever, messed his back up. ... I'm never in the business of trying to hurt anybody," Avril said.
What Romo saw from the sideline was an impressive initial flash from rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott and a solid performance by backup QB Dak Prescott against one of the top defenses in the NFL.
Elliott rushed for 48 yards on seven carries, including a 13-yard run where he knocked Seattle safety Kam Chancellor backward.
"I think I adjusted really well," Elliott said. "It makes my job easier when I play behind that great offensive line. I can only think of one run where someone tackled me that wasn't on the second level."
Prescott was solid playing against most of Seattle's starting defense, finishing 17 of 23 for 116 yards, including a 17-yard TD pass that Jason Witten snatched away from K.J. Wright.
Russell Wilson and Seattle's No. 1 offense played into the second half, scoring on four of its final five possessions including a pair of TD tosses by Wilson.
He found Paul Richardson on a perfectly placed 9-yard crossing route in the second quarter, then improvised, spun, scrambled and hit Tyler Lockett on a 9-yard strike midway through the third quarter on his final play.
Wilson finished 16 of 21 for 192 yards, while Christine Michael averaged 8.3 yards per carry as Seattle got its running game going in the second half.
"Christine looked great tonight, I really thought he looked like a beautiful runner out there, hitting it and making really decisive cuts and stuff that got him in the secondary," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. "There's no reason to think otherwise, he's going to be like that for us."
Cowboys: Prescott is 39 of 50 for 454 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions in his three preseason games. "I was ready to go at any point," Prescott said.
Seahawks: Third-round pick C.J. Prosise got his first action of the preseason after being slowed by a hamstring injury. Prosise rushed for 23 yards on four carries and has been viewed as Seattle's best third-down option.
Closer to Returning
Seahawks TE Jimmy Graham did not play, but went through a full pregame workout and team warmups as he continues his recovery from a major knee injury.
Seahawks: WR/TE Tanner McEvoy suffered a minor groin injury in the second half. ... CB Marcus Burley missed the game due to a groin injury.
"It felt great to finally get out there in a full speed game against somebody that's not our own team. It was great to get behind that offensive line, get that game feel, get my first real reps as a pro football player," Elliott said.