Seattle Seahawks vs Dallas Cowboys Defense/Special Teams Analysis
Entering this season nobody expected the Seahawks to have as strong as a defense as they have after losing the majority of the Legion of Boom as well as Michael Bennett on the defensive line many expected the Seahawks to have one of the worst defensive units in the NFL. The Cowboys after having one of the worst defenses in the NFL a few years ago showed signs of improvement last season and have now become one of the top defensive units in the NFL. This article will serve as a breakdown of not only the defensive units of both teams, but also the special teams unit break down for both the Seahawks and the Cowboys. We’ll begin by looking at the Seattle Seahawks.
Seattle Seahawks Defense
The Seattle Seahawks rank 11th in the NFL in terms of points allowed per game with 21.69 points allowed. They are allowing 113.19 rushing yards per game which ranks 13th in the NFL. They are allowing 240.12 passing yards per game which ranks 17th in the NFL. Bobby Wagner leads the team in tackles with 138 total with 84 solo and 54 assisted tackles. Frank Clark leads the team in sacks and forced fumbles with 14 sacks and 4 forced fumbles.
Bradley McDougald and Earl Thomas were tied for the team lead in interceptions with 3 apiece. Bobby Wagner was the only player on Seattle’s defense to make the Pro Bowl. They will have a tough task this week trying to slow down a Cowboys offense that has come on strong and a rested Ezekiel Elliott who is a force both in the passing and running game. The defense also doesn’t play as well on the road as they do in front of the home fans.
Seattle Seahawks Special Teams
Sebastian Janikowski is the starting kicker for the Seahawks and he still remains one of the better kickers in the NFL at his age. Sebastian Janikowski is 22/27 on his field goals, 48/51 on extra point attempts, 2/2 from 20-29, 9/11 from 30-39, 8/9 from 40-49 and 3/5 from 50 or more. Punter Michael Dickson made the Pro Bowl in the NFC with an average punt of 48.2 yards and 28/78 punts inside the 20 yard line with a long of 69 yards. Tyler Lockett handles the punt and kick return duties and is averaging 5.7 return yards on punts and 25.9 return yards on kick offs.
Dallas Cowboys Defense
The Cowboys rank 6th in the NFL in terms of points allowed per game with 20.25. They rank 5th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game with 94.56. They are allowing 234.69 passing yards per game which ranks 13th in the NFL. Leighton Vander Esch leads the team in tackles with 138 total with 102 solo and 36 assisted tackles. DeMarcus Lawrence leads the team in sacks with 10.5. Jaylon Smith, DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory are all tied in team lead for forced fumbles with 2 apiece.
Leighton Vander Esch and Xavier Woods are tied for the team lead in interceptions with 2 apiece. DeMarcus Lawrence and Byron Jones made the Pro Bowl in the NFC on defense. The Cowboy have made strong improvements on defense and rank 5th against the run and are going against a run dominated offense. I look for the Cowboys to play a key factor in the decision of this game.
Dallas Cowboys Special Teams
Brett Maher is the starting kicker for the Cowboys and is 29/36 on field goals, 32/33 on extra points, 10/10 on field goals from 20-29, 6/8 on field goals from 30-39, 7/11 on field goals from 40-49 and 6/7 on field goals from 50+. Chris Jones is the starting punter and is averaging 44.5 yards per punt with 17/60 punts inside the 20 and a long of 63. Cole Beasley handles the punt returns and is averaging 5.5 yards per return. Deonte Thompson is the primary kickoff returner and is averaging 24.5 yards on punt returns.