Seahawks vs Cowboys: 5 battles to watch

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The Battle on the Defensive Line

As opposed to the other four battles listed before, these spots on the squad are pretty much spoken for, both starts and backups. On the first team we should see Bennett and Avril starting at end, with Rubin at tackle. The other starting tackle will be Jarran Reed, who is increasingly thought of as a steal after being taken with the 49th pick of this year’s draft. Reed performed well against the Vikings starters but re-injured his ankle in that game. He won’t be playing against the Cowboys.

Behind those four are Clark, Jefferson, and McDaniel, who was covered by my colleague Keith Myers. With them is Jordan Hill, who should make the team even with Tony McDaniel’s exemplary game. There are at least nine players behind them, Brandin Bryant being most notable, but that’s not the battle to watch.

So far this year the defense’s run stopping ability has been called into question, and the Cowboys have one of the best run blocking offensive lines in the NFL. As noted as the beginning of this article, the starters are expected to play for the first half at least. While the Defensive Line has been impressive there’s been speculation that they lack passion this year, that the whole is somehow lesser, not greater, than the sum of its parts.

Cowboys offensive and defensive line in training camp.
Aug 1, 2016; Irvine, CA, USA; General view of the line of scrimmage as Dallas Cowboys center Travis Fredrick (72) snaps the ball at training camp at the River Ridge Fields. Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The Seahawks starting linemen will be facing Ezekiel Elliott. He’s not yet played in preseason due to a sore right hamstring, but this year’s fourth overall pick overall is now ready. Elliott is often compared to Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson. I’d take the legendary Peterson’s 31 carries for only 63 yards against the Seahawks over the 2015 season.

As a sidenote the Seahawks’ opponents next week, the Oakland Raiders, have a similarly impressive offensive line. However the last week of preseason tends to see a lot more game time from players on the bubble.

So there are five battles to focus on as you watch the Seahawks against the Cowboys, and when the starters are on, keep an eye on that Defensive Line.