Fast start essential to beating Seattle

IRVING, Texas -- Since Russell Wilson became Seattle’s starting quarterback, the Seahawks are 17-1 at home in the regular season.

Nine of those wins have been by 20 points or more, and their average margin of victory has been 16.4 points.

Most of the Seattle Seahawks' blowout victories have common denominators that the Cowboys must avoid to have any real chance of winning.

First, the Dallas Cowboys must survive the first-quarter adrenaline rush Seattle gets from its raucous home crowd.

Five times in the last two seasons, Seattle has been tied 0-0 entering the second quarter. It won four of those games, but only one by more than a touchdown. Their only defeat at home under Wilson -- a 17-10 loss to Arizona -- occurred in one of those games.

Seattle has not allowed a first-quarter touchdown in its last 13 home games and has trailed after the first quarter just twice.

Dallas must also avoid turnovers.

Seattle has racked up 48 turnovers in its last 18 home games. Only Tampa Bay and Green Bay have escaped with no turnovers. Seattle beat Tampa Bay 27-24 in overtime and slipped past the Packers 14-12.

This is clearly a week DeMarco Murray can't fumble in the first quarter, which has happened in four of five games.

Those turnovers played a key role in the Cowboys falling behind 28-3 at halftime against San Francisco before losing 28-17 and trailing St. Louis 21-0 before rallying to win 34-31.

Two years ago, the Cowboys trailed 10-0 five minutes into the game after fumbling the opening kickoff and getting their first punt blocked.

“I think it’s important every week and that’s something we try to emphasize,” coach Jason Garrett said of starting fast, “and just because you emphasize it doesn’t guarantee it.

“You want to play one play at a time and starting off well is important to us in all three phases of our team. In that game a couple of years ago, we didn’t. You play from behind in that kind of environment and it’s that much more challenging. Starting off well in the game is what you want to do and then you want to keep it on them."