SEAHAWKS’ NEXT OPPONENT
DALLAS COWBOYS (2-4)
1:25 p.m. Sunday, AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas; FOX, Channel 13 in Western Washington.
Line: Seahawks by 6.
Against the Seahawks: Dallas leads the regular-season series 10-5, including six wins in eight games in Texas plus last season’s upset win in Seattle 12 months ago. The Cowboys haven’t lost to the Seahawks at home in 13 years, since Oct. 27, 2002. Shaun Alexander and Emmitt Smith traded fourth-quarter touchdown runs before Rian Lindell’s 20-yard field goal with 25 seconds left won it that day for the Seahawks. Seattle has won the only postseason meeting, in January 2007 when Tony Romo dropped a hold on a try for the game-winning field goal.
What to know: The Cowboys are reeling after injuries to its stars and the departure of 2014 NFL rushing leader Demarco Murray. … Romo remains out until at least Nov. 22 after breaking his clavicle in the season’s second game. Dallas is 0-4 without him at QB. … Matt Cassel, a former backup quarterback at USC for Pete Carroll, will apparently make his fourth NFL start in two seasons. He started last week in the Cowboys’ 27-20 loss at the New York Giants and threw three interceptions in his first action for Dallas this season. The Cowboys traded with Buffalo to get Cassel in September after Romo got hurt. Then they benched Brandon Weeden after three straight losses … Leading receiver Dez Bryant is believed to have a 50-50 chance to return against the Seahawks. He has been out since breaking a bone in his foot in the opener. … Jason Witten is still the mainstay in the middle for Dallas, no matter who is throwing to him. The 10-time Pro Bowl tight end had six more catches and will test the middle of a Seattle defense that’s had big problems against tight ends the last two seasons. … Former Oakland No. 1 back Darren McFadden is the latest to fill the featured tailback job Murray had until he left in the offseason to Philadelphia. McFadden rushed for 152 yards last weekend behind the strength of Dallas’ team, its offensive line. It was his biggest output since his rookie season of 2008 with the Raiders. McFadden’s rise means former Seahawk Christine Michael, for whom the Cowboys traded at the end of training camp, still waits. Michael has seven carries for 23 yards for the Cowboys. He ran it just five times last weekend despite getting first-team reps in practice last week and then top runner Joseph Randle getting hurt in the first quarter. The Seahawks have a conditional seventh-round pick coming from Dallas for trading their former second-round pick from Texas A&M. … Dallas is seventh in the NFL in rushing offense and 20th in passing. Turnovers are the reason the Cowboys are 2-4. They are last in the league with a turnover margin of minus-9 (three takeaways, 12 giveaways). … Dallas’ defense is eighth overall in yards allowed and ninth against the run, but 24th in points allowed (26.3 per game) because of the turnover issues.
Quotable: "The challenge is daunting. We have to embrace that and understand where we are at, look at it critically, and get better from it. … We’re not going to break." – Witten, to reporters in New Jersey in the locker room following Dallas’ fourth straight loss last weekend.