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Stopping Russell Wilson's running is key to beating Seahawks

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Cassel can't lead Cowboys to victory over Seahawks (1:40)

The First Take crew along with Redskins WR Pierre Garcon make their predictions for Sunday's Cowboys-Seahawks matchup. (1:40)

IRVING, Texas -- Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson controls games as much with his running as his passing.

Wilson rushed for 849 yards on 118 carries last season. Few of Wilson’s runs are designed. Most come out of the pocket when he’s being pressured and running lanes open.

Wilson is a decisive runner, and he’s adept at gaining yards and getting out of bounds before he takes a big hit.

Last season, the Cowboys held Wilson to season lows in carries (2) and yards (12) with a disciplined approach to rushing the passer.

He's already gained 271 yards on 52 carries this season and is tied for 16th in the NFL with 10 runs of 10 yards or more.

“He can be devastating,” Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said. “You just have to have concepts. You have to change your rush -- not so much your rush lanes but your rush techniques.

“But you still have to go fast at him and you have to control him.”

Spying him is an option the Cowboys can occasionally use, but it comes at a price. First, he’s a good enough athlete to still beat the defender spying him. Second, the Cowboys are probably better off using that extra defender to pressure him.

“You want him to feel heat,” Marinelli said. “You don’t want him to feel too comfortable.”

The best way to stop Wilson from rushing is to get a quality pass rush that’s aggressive and controlled and builds a wall around him.

“You want to keep him in the well where it’s dark,” Marinelli said. “When the light opens up that’s when he has vision."