QBs, offenses take spotlight as Cowboys visit Seahawks

SEATTLE (AP) — Russell Wilson has made a career of coming through late in games, to the tune of 32 fourth-quarter and overtime comebacks with Seattle.

Dak Prescott is trying to catch up, although few will match the outrageous comeback Prescott led a week ago that helped Dallas avoid an 0-2 start to the season.

“Dak does such a great job. He remains poised, remains confident. He seems to have always done that over his career,” Wilson said. “I just got a lot of respect for how he approaches the game.”

Wilson and Prescott will be in the spotlight Sunday when the Seahawks host the Cowboys in a big NFC showdown that could end up being a shootout.

Two of the most potent offenses in the league will be facing defenses that have underperformed throughout and have injury concerns. And the quarterbacks are coming off two of the best games of their careers, Wilson throwing for five touchdowns against New England and Prescott using his arm to lead a late rally to beat Atlanta.

It could be the recipe for big days from both Wilson and Prescott, even if they aren’t focused on their matchup.

“I’ve got all of the faith in my defense going out there and doing their job,” Prescott said. “But for me, it’s about staying focused in on what the Seattle Seahawks’ defense is going to give us, how we execute. That’s the premier focus and the only focus within a game plan no matter who the quarterback is.”

Wilson’s first two games have immediately thrust him to the head of the MVP conversation as part of Seattle’s 2-0 start. He has nine touchdowns passes and just 11 incompletions. His lone interception was a ball that should have been caught by Greg Olsen, was tipped in the air for a Pick-6.

The two other times in league history a QB had nine TDs and one or zero interceptions through two weeks — Patrick Mahomes in 2018 and Peyton Manning in 2013 — they each went on to win the MVP award.

And of Wilson’s nine TDs, six have been of 15 yards or more and three of 35 yards or longer.

“His long ball accuracy has been off the charts the first two weeks,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said. “He’s had a number of big-time dime throws. The biggest thing is just try to keep the big plays to a minimum.”

Prescott’s 450 yards passing last week was the third-highest total of his career, and the Cowboys needed all of them to rally from 12 points down in the final eight minutes. Prescott was 13 of 19 for 182 yards, one TD pass and one TD run on the Cowboys last three possessions of the comeback.

It was the 10th time in his career he’s led a comeback in the fourth quarter or overtime.

“There’s nothing that he doesn’t do well,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.

INJURY WOES

Both Dallas and Seattle have major injury concerns, most of them on the defensive side.

Dallas will be without linebacker Leighton Vander Esch (broken collarbone) and cornerbacks Anthony Brown (ribs) and Chidobe Awuzie (hamstring). Rookie cornerback Trevon Diggs is also a question mark after showing up on the injury report with a shoulder issue.

“I don’t think it’s much of a challenge because they’ve done a great job of bringing guys in here that understand the defense, understand how to play the game,” said Joe Thomas, who replaced Vander Esch. “A few veteran guys that can come in and step up and play, to hold it down until those guys get back.”

Seattle lost outside linebacker/pass rusher Bruce Irvin and starting nickel cornerback Marquise Blair to major knee injuries last week. Ugo Amadi will step in for Blair, while how Seattle fills Irvin’s role is unclear.

STEADY ELLIOTT

Ezekiel Elliott is still looking for his first 100-yard game, but the two-time rushing leader has been more than steady. Elliott had both Dallas touchdowns in the season-opening loss to the Rams, and the first one against the Falcons. He’s third in the NFL with 185 yards rushing — the most through two games in his five seasons — and has another 64 yards receiving.

“I think I’ve had a good start this year, laid a good foundation for the season both as a runner and a blocker and out of the backfield,” Elliott said.

CATCHING ON

One of the unique aspects of Wilson’s five TD performance last week was that all the touchdown passes went to different players. Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Freddie Swain, David Moore and Chris Carson all took turns finding the end zone on passes from Wilson. For Carson, Seattle’s starting running back, it was his third TD catch of the season, matching his career total entering the year.

EXPLOSION

A big key could end up being whether Seattle can shut down the Cowboys’ explosive plays. Dallas leads the NFL with 41 plays of 10 yards or more through the first two games. Seattle has allowed the most plays of 10 yards or more with 47.

“They have some explosive guys on their side. They can make a lot of plays,” Seattle safety Jamal Adams said. “We have to do a good job of doing our thing, and plastering them and covering them.”

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