RENTON – The Dallas Cowboys aren’t the only unit Pete Carroll will evaluate in preparation for his team’s home opener Sunday afternoon at CenturyLink Field.
Carroll also is scouting the guys who will be wearing striped shirts and will be in charge of overseeing the contest.
The Seattle head coach said his coaching staff traditionally studies every officiating crew in the league to get a sense for how each group calls a game – whether a crew is more likely to call holding or pass interference or will let teams play more physically.
The coaching staff then passes that information along to the players as part of the team’s preparation each week.
But with replacement officials overseeing games as the NFL and league officials continue to haggle over a new deal, Carroll said he’s had to use the four weeks of film from the preseason to find out tendencies for the replacement officials.
Home teams appeared to benefit from the new refs, with 26 more penalties against the road teams (104) than the home teams (78) in Week 1, according to the Dallas Morning News.
“We have extended the way we look at the officials,” Carroll said. “We video those guys and show (players the) video of the officials and the calls that they made during the week just to make sure our guys are aware of the kinds of calls that different crews lean towards.
“And they pretty much called it like they had. They called a lot of stuff. And they had been calling more calls every week in their first four weeks, and they went out and did it again.
“But we have to do a better job. It’s totally on us, not on them.”
The Seahawks were called for 13 penalties against Arizona on Sunday – which is tied with Dallas for the league high.
Another thing that Carroll noticed is that games have taken longer, partly because the replacement officials have had to navigate the league’s lengthy rule book.
“There are calls every week that you complain about anyway, no matter who is calling the game,” Carroll said. “There were a lot of calls in this game. The game was very slow, I know that. I don’t know what the hours were, but it seemed like it took a long time.”
Carroll could be scouting replacement refs for the foreseeable future. According to league spokesman Greg Aiello, the league has replacement refs tentatively scheduled through Week 5 of the regular season in case the NFL can’t work out a deal with its officials in the coming weeks.
The Seahawks cut offensive lineman Tommie Draheim and tight end Gabe Miller from the practice squad. Seattle replaced them on the practice squad by bringing back former University of Washington and Lakes High School receiver Jermaine Kearse and adding defensive tackle Hebron Fangupo, a 6-foot, 319-pound rookie free agent who was last with the Texans. … The Seahawks have won their past three home openers and are 8-1 in home openers dating to 2003.
SEAHAWKS’ OPPONENT THIS WEEK
DALLAS COWBOYS (1-0)
1:05 p.m. Sunday, CenturyLink Field
Against the Seahawks: Seattle meets Dallas for the 14th time. The Cowboys own a 9-4 edge in the series, including winning the past three by a combined score of 95-39. The Cowboys won the most recent matchup, a 23-13 victory at Cowboys Stadium on Nov. 6, 2011. Dallas is 3-2 in Seattle.
Stats and stuff: Dallas QB Tony Romo has been at his best against Seattle. In four games against the Seahawks, he has completed 79 of 130 passes (60.8 percent) for 1,053 yards, nine touchdowns and one interception. Of course, many people remember his only loss against the Seahawks, a 21-20 nail-biter in which Romo bobbled the snap on a short field-goal attempt late in the 2006 NFC wild card game, allowing Seattle to take over on downs and sneak away with a victory at home. … The Cowboys also have one of the best young running backs in the game in second-year pro DeMarco Murray, who exploded for 139 yards on 22 carries in his team’s win over Seattle last season. He opened this season with 20 carries for 131 yards in the Cowboys’ 24-17 win over the New York Giants. … Dallas head coach Jason Garrett said he plans to use simulated crowd noise during practice this week to get his team ready for the atmosphere at CenturyLink Field. The Cowboys had seven pre-snap penalties in their road win over the Giants. … Former Tumwater High School and Eastern Washington University standout Matt Johnson was drafted in the fourth round by Dallas this year, but the safety is not expected to play against Seattle because of a hamstring injury.
Quotable: “This is a very difficult place to play. It’s loud. It’s almost a college-type atmosphere.” – Dallas head coach Jason Garrett on playing at CenturyLink Field. COWBOYS SCHEDULE
Sept. 5 Cowboys 24, Giants 17
Sept. 16 at Seattle
Sept. 23 Tampa Bay
Oct. 1 Chicago
Oct. 7 Bye
Oct. 14 at Baltimore
Oct. 21 at Carolina
Oct. 28 N.Y. Giants
Nov. 4 at Atlanta
Nov. 11 at Philadelphia
Nov. 18 Cleveland
Nov. 22 Washington
Dec. 2 Philadelphia
Dec. 9 at Cincinnati
Dec. 16 at Pittsburgh
Dec. 23New Orleans
Dec. 30 at Washingtoneric.firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/seahawks @eric_d_williams eric.williams@ thenewstribune.com