The Dallas Cowboys continue a two-game road trip to start the 2012 season on Sunday, heading to the west coast to take on the Seattle Seahawks. An NFL-record five rookie quarterbacks started in Week 1 and the Cowboys will face three of them this season, starting with Russell Wilson, Seattle’s signal-caller.
In Wilson’s NFL debut, his Seahawks lost 20-16 to the Arizona Cardinals in Phoenix after his pass to Braylon Edwards fell incomplete on fourth-and-goal with 18 seconds left in the game. Wilson finished the contest with 153 yards on 18 completions with one touchdown and one interception.
Among rookie passers, Wilson’s 34 attempts were second to only the Indianapolis Colts‘ Andrew Luck, who had 45. Thus, Dallas knows Wilson will come out firing on Sunday at CenturyLink Stadium, but Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan will have had ample time to prepare as his team’s first two games are a total of 10 days apart.
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning threw for over 4,900 yards in 2011, including 736 against Dallas, the sixth-most in NFL history. After improving their secondary during the off-season, the Cowboys held Manning to just 213 yards and one touchdown in the season opener, a 24-17 Dallas victory. If that game was any indication, Wilson should be in for a long day when Ryan’s unit comes to town.
Wilson completed only 52 percent of his 34 passes against the Cardinals, a team that finished 17th in total pass defense in 2011 and made no upgrade in the secondary this off-season. That, coupled with the fact Seattle has no big-play receiver of which to speak, should equal a big day for the Cowboys’ defense. However, the game is not decided on paper and Wilson has overcome ridiculous odds throughout his football career.
On another note, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has his team practicing with speakers on the field in anticipation for the incredible crowd noise generated by the Seahawks’ fans. Dallas quarterback Tony Romo and company were able to overcome this issue at MetLife Stadium against the Giants, but Garrett is taking this precautionary step to ensure his team is completely prepared for the contest.