It was a virtual must-win for the Dallas Cowboys, returning home to face a Seattle Seahawks team that was not playing their best football as well. Fans rejoiced to have Dez Bryant back on the field, ready to end the Cowboys four-game skid.
Instead, it was Russell Wilson who marched his team downfield when it mattered the most to pull out a 13-12 win.
Seattle scored the first points of the game on the opening possession with a field goal, before the Cowboys would answer with a field goal of their own. Darren McFadden once again came out strong, rushing for 32 yards on the first drive.
These field goals would be the only points of the first quarter, as the teams then traded four consecutive punts. Finally, with 5:33 left in the half, Wilson found Luke Willson for a for a 22-yard score to make the score 10-3.
Matt Cassel would use his legs on the next drive to cut into the deficit, scrambling for 24 yards and a first down before later going for 12 yards on a third down play. However, the offense would once again have to settle for a field goal and enter the locker room trailing 10-6.
Matt Cassel has more yards in this game already than Demarco Murray had in his first 3 games total this season.
Dez Bryant was held without a catch in the half. On the opening drive of the second half, McFadden once again got going – gaining 40 yards on a drive that resulted in another Dan Bailey field goal, this one from 52 yards out.
Now trailing by just one, the Cowboys defense forced a three and out before Dez Bryant made his first reception. After losing a yard on first down, he came up with a 15-yard reception on third down to move the chains.
The drive would stall after that, with Bryant being called for pass interference in coverage with Richard Sherman. Chris Jones pinned the Seahawks deep to the five-yard line.
The Dallas defense was in desperate need of a turnover, and they would get that turnover thanks to Greg Hardy. Hardy tipped a pass in the air to himself, setting up the Cowboys in a prime position to get seven points off the interception.
However, they once again settled for just three as Dan Bailey gave them a two point lead at 12-10. Seattle would line up for a field goal to take the lead on the next possession, but David Irving blocked the kick to preserve the lead.
For the record, this tweet was indeed sent before the kick.
BLOCK THE KICK
The Cowboys would go three and out, setting up a chance for Seattle to flip field position late. Explosive punt returner Tyler Lockett appeared to do just that, returning the punt past midfield before having it called back by a holding call on Sherman.
Backed up to the 15, the cool, calm and collected Russel Wilson would lead a game-winning drive that will linger in the hearts of Cowboys Nation for weeks to come.
He would do a lot of damage with his legs in the red zone, gaining ten on a third and seven to set up first and goal. It was the third time on the drive that the Seahawks converted on third down.
The Cowboys were 4-14 on third down in the game.
Wilson was finally shut down trying to score on third and goal, but a Steven Hauschka field goal proved to be the difference – making the score 13-12.
With no timeouts and 1:06 to work with, the Cowboys last march went backwards, and Seattle escaped AT&T Stadium to get to 4-4 on the season.
Four Dan Bailey field goals were not enough to keep Dallas from dropping their fifth straight game, falling to 2-5 on the season. They will welcome in the Eagles, who had a bye this week, for Sunday Night Football in what is a season-deciding game.
The Seahawks will enter the bye and prepare for a primetime matchup with NFC West foe Arizona.