- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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SEATTLE -- Seattle is stunning Dallas with a 13-7 halftime lead. Turnovers have been key in this game -- the Cowboys made both of them, and both resulted in Seattle scores.
Some thoughts after the first half, along with suggested adjustments for the second:
* Hold onto the football. The Cowboys dropped four passes in the first half. Jason Witten and Dez Bryant have two drops each. Witten dropped a pass off his fingertips while running deep in Seattle territory. Bryant dropped a pass after a hard hit by free safety Earl Thomas on a third and short. All the drops would have resulted in first-down plays for the Cowboys and seemed to suck the life out of the offense.
* Run the ball more effectively. It's hard to run against the Seattle defense, especially when they put eight in the box and get a defender on every blocker. At the break, DeMarco Murray has 36 rushing yards, but it's been a slow-moving process. Murray is trying to find room inside, and guards, Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau have to do a better job of getting a push off the line of scrimmage. Lawrence Vickers is getting his licks in but he's struggling as well to get Murray some holes. The good thing about Jason Garrett is he will stick with the run game more than he did in previous seasons as the play caller. So expect the Cowboys to continue with the run game in the second half.
* Get Felix Jones off kick returns. He fumbled the opening kickoff, leading to a Seattle field goal, and he took another kickoff 8 yards deep out of the end zone only to get to the 15. Jones doesn't look fast on returns and doesn't make anyone miss. He did make a first down, catching a pass underneath, but his impact is minimal. The Cowboys used Morris Claiborne on kick returns this week in practice, but Garrett didn't want to use Claiborne in the game. If anything, move Jones out of the middle as the deep returner and maybe use Dwayne Harris or Phillip Tanner at that spot.
* Find Dez Bryant. Tony Romo missed Bryant on a deep pass in the first quarter and on a back-shoulder fade in the second. Romo has completed passes to six different receivers. Seattle's defenders are pressuring Bryant at the line of scrimmage, but he is getting some space. Romo has to get rid of the ball in 2.5, seconds so finding Bryant might be difficult.