The Seattle Seahawks lost their kicker at the end of the first half and then lost their first Wild Card game since 2005 against St. Louis. The Dallas Cowboys were able to grind out the win, 24-22, thanks to their defense and Ezekiel Elliott.
The Cowboys’ running back rushed for 137 yards on 26 carries, including a one-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Seattle was able to get a late touchdown from Russell Wilson to J.D. McKissic from seven yards out. Seattle lost Sebastian Janikowski–right before halftime after a 57-yard field goal attempt–so they went for the two-point conversion. Chris Carson punched in the attempt to move behind Dallas 24-22.
A drop-kick onside kick try from Seahawks Pro Bowl Punter Michael Dickson–in place for Janikowski–went too deep. Cole Beasley caught the kick essentially ending the game. The Cowboys kneeled out the final 1:18 to win just their third playoff game since 1996.
The biggest problem Seahawks fans will remember was the two Pass Interference calls against the defense late in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys could not complete two separate third down attempts, but the defensive PI calls gave Dallas automatic first downs.
The extra opportunities hurt Seattle as Prescott would capitalize with a touchdown to end the drive and go up 10.
In the first half, save for Brett Maher’s 39-yard field goal–on Dallas’ first drive of the game–neither team really did anything offensively until the final seven minutes of the second quarter.
For the Seahawks, Wilson found Ed Dickson and Tyler Lockett on back-to-back plays that net the Seahawks 66 yards. A 27-yard Janikowski field goal to end the drive tied the game at three apiece.
On the next possession, Dallas stalled and Maher couldn’t make his 58-yard field goal try. Seattle took over at their own 48-yard line and only managed 28 yards. Fortunately for the Seahawks, Janikowski hit his second field goal–this one from 42 yards out–to give Seattle their first lead of the game, 6-3.
With just 1:43 until halftime, Dallas drove 75 yards and scored the first touchdown of the game on an 11-yard pass from Dak Prescott to Michael Gallup.
Trailing Dallas 10-6 with 24 seconds to go, Lockett took the ensuing kickoff to the Dallas 49-yard line. Seattle gave Janikowski a look at a 57-yard field goal, but he pushed it wide right. To make matters worse, Janikowski also came up limping after the play.
Janikowski’s injury came back to hurt the Seahawks on a few occasions, but after Dallas went ahead 24-14 with 2:08 to go, it didn’t seem to matter anymore.
Dallas will now wait until Sunday to see who they face next week. The Cowboys will play New Orleans if Chicago beats Philadelphia on Sunday or they will take on the LA Rams if Philadelphia wins in Chicago.