ARLINGTON, Texas – It only took half a season, but the Seattle Seahawks finally ran the ball the way coach Pete Carroll envisioned when he hired Tom Cable as his offensive line coach.
The Seahawks owned the line of scrimmage, paving the way for Marshawn Lynch to run for 135 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown. Lynch averaged 5.9 yards per carry.
It’s the first time Lynch rushed for over 100 yards during a regular-season game for Seattle. Lynch’s only other game over the 100-yard mark was a 131-yard performance in the NFC Wild Card game against New Orleans in January.
The Seahawks finished with a season-high 162 yards on the ground.
“It’s something that our offensive line has been wanting,” Seattle offensive tackle Russell Okung said. “And we definitely got that facet of the game going today. We just made a little bit too many mistakes. And when you make that many mistakes, you’re going to lose the game.
“I think we’re just starting to jell a little bit more,” Okung went on. “Week in and week out we’ve been challenged up front, and now we’re responding.”
Carroll believes his team can build on the performance against the Cowboys the rest of the season.
“I’m absolutely counting on it,” Carroll said. “I think we saw it in practice during the week that it looked like we had taken another step. And I showed the film all the way up until Saturday to point out to these guys how we were coming off the ball, and the continuity, and all that seemed to show up.”
Once again, penalties and turnovers led to Seattle’s demise. The Seahawks finished with 10 penalties for 88 yards – seven in the second half alone. They lost the turnover battle again, 3-1.
The Seahawks are among the league leaders with 70 penalties for the season.
Four of Seattle’s 10 penalties were on the offensive line. Two (holding and a false start) were on offensive guard Robert Gallery, who appears to still be struggling after returning from groin surgery three weeks ago.
The Seahawks also allowed a blocked field goal by Dallas linebacker Anthony Spencer on a 41-yard Steven Hauschka attempt.
Carroll said the Seahawks may have to improve Tarvaris Jackson’s cadence changes to help the offensive line. But he also hinted some personnel moves could be made.
“I think we can fix the line of scrimmage,” Carroll said. “We need to make a move there. We have to do something, which we know what we’re doing. But that needs to go away. I’ve been saying that, and that hasn’t happened yet. And I’m disappointed that I’m here talking about that again.”
Carroll also addressed the two unsportsmanlike calls on rookie defensive back Byron Maxwell on two Seattle punts.
Maxwell was pushed out-of-bounds both times, but officials ruled that he did not make enough of an effort to get back in bounds and flagged the Clemson product, which resulted in Seattle giving up some costly field position.
“The first one might have been that he went out on his own but I do not know about that,” Carroll said. “I thought he got knocked out and he stayed out too long. The same exact thing happens again and he thought he made every effort to get back in and they said no.”
Inactive players for Seattle on Sunday included third-string quarterback Josh Portis, receiver Kris Durham, safety Jeron Johnson, cornerback Ryan Parker, offensive tackle Jarriel King and defensive tackle Al Woods. ... After missing the Cincinnati game with a hamstring injury, receiver Mike Williams finished with three catches for 41 yards. ... Seattle linebacker David Hawthorne finished with eight combined tackles in his Texas homecoming. ... Punter Jon Ryan finished with a 61-yard average and a 58.3 net average on three punts, including one inside the 20-yard line. ... Seattle’s sack leader, Chris Clemons, did not record a tackle and had just one quarterback hurry.