- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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IRVING, Texas – Defensive end Jason Hatcher doesn’t want to hear another word about the Seattle Seahawks’ offense physically whipping the Cowboys’ front seven Sunday.
“It wasn’t like that,” Hatcher said. “Our front seven didn’t get knocked around off the ball. It may look like that if you look at the score, but it wasn’t like that.”
The Seahawks put exclamation points on their 27-7 win with touchdown drives of 90 and 88 yards against the Cowboys.
Seattle had 197 of its 315 total yards after halftime. That included 149 of the Seahawks’ 182 rushing yards, with Seattle averaging 5.3 yards per carry in the second half. Marshawn Lynch, who had only 22 yards on 10 carries at halftime, finished with 122 yards on 26 carries.
So what can the Cowboys’ front seven learn from watching the film of that second half?
“Nothing, nothing in general, man,” Hatcher said. “Nothing that we did up front as a D-line and as a front seven. Nothing, really. We did a great job knocking them back. It’s one of those things. We’ve just got to eliminate the mistakes we made, the turnovers, the blocked punts and things like that. We’ve just got to clean up every aspect of our game. It’s always something you can get better on, but I didn’t see too much.”
Hatcher said the fact that the Seahawks built a 10-0 lead off a fumble on the opening kickoff and a blocked punt minutes later allowed them to stick to the running game. That, according to Hatcher, was the defense’s biggest problem down the stretch.
It was a one-possession game until the Seahawks marched 90 yards on eight plays for a touchdown in the third quarter, a drive highlighted by Lynch’s 36-yard run off right tackle.
“There’s no reason to pass when you’re up on a team, so they just kept pounding and pounding,” Hatcher said. “Against a zone team, you can pound the ball, and one of those times the ball’s going to cut back, somebody’s going to be out of position and it’s going to break like it did. They caught us in a bad defense and it kind of broke out the gate. It’s just one of those things, man.”
Inside linebacker Sean Lee agreed that the Cowboys’ defense wasn’t physically whipped by the Seahawks, who were playing with a patchwork offensive line that included backups at left tackle and right guard. However, Lee said the defense should learn a valuable lesson from watching the game film.
“It just shows you that against a good running back, you have to be on point the entire game,” Lee said. “That’s something that I don’t think we did in the second half. The first half we did it and -- for whatever reason, I don’t know if we felt like we had it -- we didn’t execute right. I think it’s a clear picture that against a good running back, you’re going to have to execute every single play.”