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Cowboys' offense can't do enough in 24-13 loss to Seahawks

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

By TIM BOOTH

AP Sports Writer

SEATTLE (AP) Jerry Jones is trying to remain supportive of a Dallas Cowboys offense that has shown only fleeting moments of promise through three weeks of the season.

Eight points in the opener and 13 points on Sunday won't be enough to get victories on the road no matter how well the Cowboys play on defense.

"I do think that we do have the talent and I do think that we have the coaching that can get us on the right track offensively," Jones said. "We will get on the right track offensively, I'm sure."

The Cowboys offensive issues - specifically in the passing game - were exposed again in their 24-13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

Dak Prescott threw for 168 yards and a touchdown, but most of those came in the fourth quarter when the Cowboys were trying to rally. He averaged just 4.9 yards per pass attempt and the Cowboys were rarely able to push the ball downfield against Seattle's secondary. The longest pass play was a 20-yarder to tight end Geoff Swaim. The longest catch by a wide receiver was an 18-yarder to Cole Beasley.

"We did not do a good enough job of staying ahead of the chains, controlling the line of scrimmage in the passing game like we would have wanted to," Dallas coach Jason Garrett said. "We did a better job of rallying at the end but certainly not good enough."

The Cowboys trailed 24-6 before finally finding the end zone on Prescott's shovel pass to Tavon Austin midway through the fourth quarter. It was the one bit of innovation in an otherwise stagnant offensive game plan that should have yielded more success considering how well Elliott was doing on the ground.

Elliott rushed for 127 yards on just 16 carries, but even his longest run of the game ended up in disaster for the Cowboys when he fumbled deep in Seattle's end, getting hit from behind by safety Bradley McDougald.

"Our defense started out really great, and we had them on the field too long and they got worn down. We only scored three points in the first half. We've got to do better than that," Elliott said.

Seattle found a formula that worked, getting 102 yards rushing from Chris Carson, two touchdown passes from Russell Wilson and two interceptions from unhappy safety Earl Thomas. Thomas, who wants a contract extension or a trade from Seattle, even bowed to the Cowboys sideline after his second interception with 3:09 remaining ended any hopes of a rally by Dallas.

Thomas even acknowledged rumors floating around that he could be traded soon and Sunday could have been his last game in Seattle.

"I don't know if it was but I had a damn good time and I'll go out like that if I have to," Thomas said.

Here's what else to know from both teams moving to 1-2 for the season:

UNDER PROTECTION: Wilson had the cleanest pocket to throw from at any point this season. Seattle's offensive line that had allowed 12 sacks in the first two weeks neutralized the Dallas pass rush and allowed Wilson time to find receivers. Wilson was sacked only twice, one of those when he was tackled at the line of scrimmage. For his part, Wilson made smart, decisive decisions on his throws and didn't show the hesitations that had thrown off the timing of Seattle's pass game the first two weeks.

INJURY CONCERN: The Cowboys had one significant injury concern to come out of the loss when linebacker Sean Lee aggravated an already troublesome hamstring injury and missed most of the second half. Lee had 11 tackles before being forced to the sideline because of the injury. He had been rotating with rookie Leighton Vander Esch, who also finished with 11 tackles.

"It feels like the same deal but I have to get (evaluated) and see where I'm at," Lee said.

CENTURY MARK: Carson's 102 yards rushing and his touchdown were major milestones for a Seattle run game that's been absent for more than a season.

Carson was the first running back to top 100 yards in the regular season since Thomas Rawls rushed for 106 yards in December 2016 against Carolina. Carson's TD run was the first by a Seahawks running back since J.D. McKissic found the end zone on a 31-yard run in Week 4 of the 2017 season. Seattle went 14 games without a running back finding the end zone until Carson bulled his way in with 12:54 remaining.

FUN WITH NUMBERS: For the first time since 2010, Dallas did not start 2-1 through three games. The Cowboys started 0-2 in 2010, won their third game, and then dropped five straight. Dallas has also lost three straight to the Seahawks.

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Updated September 24, 2018

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