- Jean-Jacques Taylor, ESPN Staff Writer
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Play: Blocked punt returned for touchdown
Situation: Fourth-and-5 from Dallas 21
Score: Seattle, 3-0
Time: 10:28 first quarter
Taylor's Take: Anytime you allow a special teams touchdown, it usually results in a loss. Malcolm Smith muscled past Dan Connor and took a straight path toward Chris Jones. Jeron Smith scooped up the ball and returned it three yards for a touchdown.
Play: Bruce Carter drops interception
Situation: Third-and-3 from Dallas 3
Score: Tied, 0-0
Time: 11:51 first quarter
Taylor's Take: The game is about making plays. Carter had two hands and the ball and dropped it. If he grabs it, the Cowboys have a huge momentum boost and the fumbled kickoff gets negated.
Play: Marshawn Lynch 36-yard run
Situation: Second-and-7 from Seattle 39
Score: Seattle 13-7
Time: 6:37 third quarter
Taylor's Take: Bad luck sabotaged this play because Rob Ryan sent Demarcus Ware, Gerald Sensabaugh and Bruce Carter on a blitz from the left, but Seattle ran off right tackle. Lynch ran through a couple of arm tackles at the line of scrimmage and zig-zagged for 36 yards, setting up Seattle’s second touchdown.
Play: Tony Romo recovers fumble
Situation: Second-and-10 from Dallas 39
Score: Seattle, 10-0
Time: 2:22 first quarter
Taylor's Take: The comedy of first-quarter errors continued with Romo in the Shotgun. As he approached the line of scrimmage to adjust the play, center Ryan Cook snapped the ball, hitting Romo in the stomach. Romo recovered the fumble for a three-yard loss, but still led the Cowboys on their only scoring drive.
Play: Bruce Carter penalized for unnecessary roughness
Situation: Second-and-12 from Seattle 22
Score: Seattle, 20-7
Time: 13:18 fourth quarter
Taylor's Take: Golden Tate launched himself at linebacker Sean Lee, who was chasing the play, delivering the block that helped Russell Wilson gain 14 yards. A penalty should have been called on Tate, based on a new NFL rule, because Lee was in a defenseless position. Then it would’ve been second-and-27. However, Carter was penalized for pushing Wilson, even though the quarterback still had a foot inbounds. The additional 15 yards put the ball at the Dallas 49 and, seven plays later, Seattle scored.