It's been a week of full-on panic around the Cowboys.
The offense is running on fumes, the defense got torn apart in Philly, Dez Bryant is yelling on the sideline and even the punter is hurt. Everyone keeps bringing up the schedule as reason for optimism, but it is done in a half-hearted way as if no one actually thinks the slate of weak opponents will actually lead to better results for the Cowboys.
At some point, the worrying and chattering has to stop and the Cowboys have to actually get back on the field. Only then will we have any idea whether there's any reason to continue hoping for a good finish to the season or if it is time to start paying attention to important matters like who Kim Kardashian is going to fake marry next.
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The guess here is that we'll be caring about the Cowboys for at least one more week because the Seahawks look like the perfect salve for all the aches and pains in Dallas this week. Their weaknesses match up perfectly with things the Cowboys need to do well, which should provide plenty of opportunities to get well.
On offense, the Cowboys need to start throwing the ball down the field so they can take advantage of how talented Miles Austin and Dez Bryant are. The Seahawks have lost two of their top three cornerbacks to injury and the remaining one, Brandon Browner, commits penalties far too frequently for the Cowboys not to test him deep early and often.
Normally, you'd worry about the pass rush making that impossible, but the Seahawks are a one-trick pony in that respect. Chris Clemons is very good at coming off the edge, but you can scheme around that to give Tony Romo time to make plays down field. The Cowboys have to let out the reins on offense, something the Seahawks will allow them to do on Sunday.
Defensively, the Seahawks aren't equipped to stop DeMarcus Ware. That's not particularly unusual in the NFL, of course, but keeping Tarvaris Jackson from feeling comfortable will mitigate the potential damage caused by the injuries to Sean Lee and Mike Jenkins. That poor Seahawks offensive line also struggles to open holes in the running game, something that can get Rob Ryan's unit back on track after last week's disaster.
The Cowboys don't have to do anything but go out on the field and execute this Sunday to give themselves a serious advantage over the Seahawks. That's a big difference from last week when simply showing up wasn't going to beat the Eagles. The Eagles had their backs against the wall and knew that a bad outing would end their season.
The Seahawks, on the other hand, have looked terrible the last two weeks and know that there's almost no chance they can compete for a playoff spot this season. Couple that with a long trip from Seattle, you have to think that if the Cowboys can get out to a strong start they will puncture whatever balloon of hope there is on the Seahawks' side of the field.
That's exactly the kind of opponent the Cowboys need this week. Now they just need to hold up their end of the bargain.