Cowboys defense a surprise to others if not themselves

SEATTLE -- Jeremy Mincey looked over to Orlando Scandrick and hollered out a question when asked if there was any surprise that the Dallas Cowboys have a 5-1 record.

“Orlando, did we come here thinking we were going to lose?” Mincey asked.

“Hell, no,” Scandrick shot back.

With their 30-23 victory against the Seattle Seahawks, the Cowboys are 5-1 for a lot of reasons. A lot of it has to do with the offense and DeMarco Murray's running. A lot of it has to do with the defense.

If Mincey isn’t surprised at 5-1, then a lot of outsiders are surprised by the Cowboys’ defense.

Seattle posted just nine first downs. They gained just 206 yards. Russell Wilson completed 14 of 28 passes for 126 yards. Marshawn Lynch rushed 10 times for 61 yards but most of that came on a 32-yard run. The ever-dangerous Percy Harvin had minus-1 yards of total offense. He ran the ball three times for minus-1 yards. He caught three passes for zero yards.

“I thought we really played hard and were very physical,” defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said. “That was our plan -- how hard and how tough we could be. That’s kind of our calling card I think. It’s toughness. We’ve got a bunch of tough guys who play hard and really try to do everything we can to do things right.”

As Marinelli spoke, he wore a polo shirt with the words “22 men” inside a Cowboys star.

“All 22 guys just working together,” Marinelli said. “It’s not 11. It’s a bunch of guys rotating and playing.”

Jermaine Kearse had a 53-yard catch on the first drive of the game, aided by a pick on Scandrick. Add in Lynch’s 32-yard run and 85 of the Seahawks’ 206 yards came on two plays. The only touchdown drive the Cowboys allowed came after Tony Romo's fumble at the Dallas 20. The Seahawks converted just five of 13 third-down chances and missed on their only fourth-down try.

Linebacker Rolando McClain ended the game with his second interception of the season, picking off a Russell Wilson pass down the seam to tight end Luke Wilson.

Romo said he is believing in the defense more than maybe he ever has.

“I’m trusting them throughout football games to get us the ball back in key situations and they’re really playing outstanding ball,” Romo said. “They’re fast. They’re aggressive. They’re starting to make a name for themselves and I’m excited about that. It gives us a chance to win every week we go out."