Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys
When: 8:15 PM ET, Saturday, January 5, 2019
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
DALLAS – Ezekiel Elliott was a busy man this season, as the Pro Bowl running back recorded a league-high 1,434 rushing yards and team-best 77 receptions to help the Dallas Cowboys punch their ticket to the playoffs for the third time in five years. After sitting out the regular-season finale, a well-rested Elliott is expected to carry the mail on Saturday as the fourth-seeded Cowboys host the fifth-seeded Seattle Seahawks in an NFC wild-card game.
“Just knowing that we’re going into these playoffs, I’m going to have the highest workload I probably had all season,” said Elliott, who rushed for 127 yards in Dallas’ 24-13 loss to Seattle on Sept. 23. Dak Prescott (career-high 3,885 yards), who was intercepted twice and threw for just 168 yards in that contest, tossed a 32-yard scoring strike to Cole Beasley to cap a season-high four-touchdown performance in the waning moments of Sunday’s 36-35 win over the New York Giants. While the Cowboys boast a 7-1 mark at AT&T Stadium and won seven of their last eight games overall, the Seahawks emerged victorious in six of their last seven contests to reach 10 wins and a playoff berth for the sixth time in Russell Wilson’s seven seasons with the club. Wilson, who threw two of his NFL third-best 35 touchdown passes in Seattle’s win over Dallas in Week 3, is just 3-3 with 11 TDs and 10 interceptions in his last six postseason starts (3-3).
TV: 8:15 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Cowboys -1.5. O/U: 43
ABOUT THE SEAHAWKS (10-6): Chris Carson (team-best 1,151 rushing yards) had a season-high 32 carries for 102 yards and a touchdown against Dallas, a performance that set the tone for what would become Seattle’s top-ranked rushing offense (160.0 yards per game). “(The coaches) were talking about it the whole time of running the ball more and being a run team,” the 24-year-old Carson said. “They finally started getting it going against the Cowboys and it’s taken off ever since.” Carson rushed for a career-best 122 yards and a score in Sunday’s 27-24 triumph over Arizona, although he’ll face a Dallas rush defense that has surrendered a league fifth-best 94.6 yards per contest. Tyler Lockett, who found the end zone in the encounter with the Cowboys, set career highs in receptions (57), receiving yards (965) and touchdown receptions (10) this season.
ABOUT THE COWBOYS (10-6): Amari Cooper has endeared himself to his new team by collecting 35 receptions for 551 yards and six touchdowns in five home games with Dallas since being acquired from Oakland. The 24-year-old Cooper led the Cowboys with 725 receiving yards despite appearing in just nine games, with Beasley (672) sitting close behind after his 94-yard effort versus the Giants nearly eclipsed the sum total (124) of his previous five contests. Defensive end Demarcus Lawrence capped his second straight Pro Bowl season by recording one of his team-best 10.5 sacks in each of the last two games. Linebacker Leighton Vander Esch registered 10 of his rookie franchise-record 140 tackles in the previous encounter with the Seahawks.
1. Seattle Pro Bowl LB Bobby Wagner had eight of his club-high 138 tackles against Dallas in Week 3.
2. Pro Bowl CB Byron Jones had two of his team-best 14 pass deflections for the Cowboys in the previous meeting with the Seahawks.
3. Seattle recorded a league-best plus-15 turnover differential this season.