Grading Drew Lock in Seahawks loss to Cowboys in final preseason game

Aug 26, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Drew Lock (2) throws during the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 26, 2022; Arlington, Texas, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Drew Lock (2) throws during the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

The Seahawks lost to the Cowboys in Seattle’s preseason finale. Drew Lock got a lot of reps at quarterback. How did he do?

Let me preface all I am about to say by acknowledging that after the game, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said Geno Smith will be the Week 1 starter because Smith has “earned it” and he “won the job.”

Well, to be fair, with the way QB1 reps were divided (or a true lack thereof) in training camp, the quarterback “competition” was skewed towards Smith a long time ago. It was Geno’s job to lose and not Drew Lock’s job to win. Smith wasn’t great in preseason but he wasn’t terrible so the job was his.

Smith played one series on Friday versus the Cowboys and it was a very Geno-like drive. A bit mundane but he didn’t turn the ball over. His two throws to Tyler Lockett, though, hinted at promise for the future.

Drew Lock was feast or famine in Seahawks final preseason game of 2022

Lock played the majority of the rest of the game, though oddly when the Seahawks had a chance to make a game-winning drive happen late in the fourth quarter, Seattle put Jacob Eason in.

It seemed strange not to let Lock have a chance to make amends for preseason game 1 when he fumbled very late against the Steelers while being sacked which set up Pittsburgh’s game-winning touchdown drive.

So how did Lock do? Well, it was everything 12s had been told could happen when Lock is playing quarterback. And that is both exhilarating and horrifying.

He finished the game 13 for 24 passing for 171 yards, one touchdown pass and three interceptions. More on those picks in just a second. Lock also appeared pretty athletic as a few times he caused a pass rusher to miss and was able to escape the pressure.

The one touchdown pass was a thing of beauty, though, and one few quarterbacks can make. It was a 35-yard dime to Penny Hart just over the Cowboys defender. The pass had touch and at the same time velocity. If Lock could make these kinds of passes more consistently, there is no doubt he should be QB1 with the Seahawks.

But he doesn’t. And what Pete Carroll wants more than anything this season, as there is no more Russell Wilson in Seattle, is a risk-averse quarterback. That Lock is riskier than Smith says a lot more about Lock than Smith because we saw Smith have two bad turnovers at the ends of two of the three games (both losses) he started for the Seahawks in 2021.

But Lock isn’t truly the safer quarterback. His first interception wasn’t completely his fault – I have seen a lot of people say receiver Dee Eskridge should have come back for the ball and yada yada yad and this is somewhat the case – but the throw was still telegraphed and the Cowboys defender was easily able to see what was going to happen, made the more physical play and came up with basically an easy interception.

The third pick wasn’t Lock’s fault mostly. He threw a pass to Aaron Fuller (who ironically seems incapable of catching even though he is listed as a receiver) over the middle, Fuller dove for it (after taking a pass turn in his route), the ball bounced off Fuller’s Roberto Duran-type hands and popped up high in the air for a Cowboys defender to catch it.

But Lock’s second interception is the best example of why Carroll is going with Smith and not Lock. Lock can’t be trusted not to lose games. Lock dropped back to pass and threw a beautiful spiral to his left to a wide-open Cowboys defender. I am assuming that was Lock’s plan because the play was so concise.

To be honest, I am not sure what Lock was seeing or not seeing but maybe he was color-blind on that one specific play (or he couldn’t see white) and thought that no Cowboys were on the field and he could throw to anyone. Either way, if he had jumped from high school to the pros on that one play, the outcome would have been the same.

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So how did Lock do against the Cowboys? Just messy enough to get him a seat on the bench to start the 2022 season.

Grade: C-