Cowboys At Seahawks: Jamal Adams & The 'Big-Plays Both Ways' Key

Mike Fisher

FRISCO - "The Eye Test'' tells you plenty about the impact Jamal Adams has had in his first two games in a Seahawks uniform. But by the numbers? The All-Pro safety - who danced with the idea of joining the Dallas Cowboys before trade-pushing his way out of New York in favor of Seattle - had been part of an odd statistical flop.

Adams and the Seahawks defense are the NFL's poorest in terms of giving up big plays - that is, plays of 10-plus yards. 

That wasn't the plan when they added Adams and Quinton Dunbar (an offseason trade get from Washington) to a defense already featuring All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner and Pro Bowl cornerback Shaquill Griffin centering a rich "Legion of Boom'' tradition.

And now along comes "Movable Object Vs. Resistible Force'' in Cowboys at Seahawks, and here, by the numbers, is why: While Seattle gives up the most 10-yards-plus plays in the NFL (47 of them), the Cowboys have registered a league-high 41 offensive plays of 10-yards-plus.

"Well, they've thrown it like 80 times, or 90 times, in the first two games. I think that's part of it," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said of foes Atlanta and New England. "(Therefore we've) seen a lot of plays ... (but) we've given up way too many 'explosives.''

"Big plays.'' "Splash plays.'' "Chunk plays.'' "Explosives.'' By any other name, this Week 3 showdown figures to showcase lots of them. ... for lots of reasons.

*On the Seattle offensive side, there is a main reason the Seahawks are 2-0: Russell Wilson, who has thrown nine touchdown passes in leading them to wins of 38-25 (over the Falcons) and 35-30 (over the Patriots).

*On the offensive side of 1-1 Dallas: Dak Prescott is the first player in NFL history with 400 passing yards and three rushing TDs in a single game (against Atlanta he threw for 450 yards and was responsible for four total touchdowns), and he's surrounded by stat monsters in Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb. And if you don't pay attention to all of them, backup-turned-starter tight end Dalton Schultz will put up numbers as well, as was the case in the Cowboys' zany 40-39 win over Atlanta.

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*On the defensive side for Seattle: They've allowed 831 passing yards - the second-most passing yardage given up by a defense in the first two games of the season in NFL history.

*On the defensive side for Dallas (well, and Seattle): Through the first two games, the Seahawks have surrendered nine pass plays of 20 or more yards. It'd be hard to give up more than that ...

Except the Cowboys have. Seattle's bad number there is exceeded only by the Dolphins, the Falcons. ... and the Cowboys.

Some of the Cowboys' problems are about the D-line underperforming. As coordinator Mike Nolan said, "I'm a bit disappointed with just the coordination and playing together as one in the defensive line these first two weeks."

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And some of the Seahawks' problems might be about the newness of Adams to the system - "coordination'' in a sense, too.

"He's such an active football player that sometimes his activity can take him chasing some stuff that he needs to ignore at times," Carroll explained. "I love the way he plays. We're just gonna keep coaching him like crazy to get it right. He's gonna make plays in all phases of the game, but he's gotta clean some things up and he knows it."

READ MORE: Patience Required with Seahawks New-Look Secondary

And yet ... in Week 1, Adams had 12 tackles, two QB hits and a sack. And in Week 3, the Cowboys know that accounting for him is the best way to continue the Dallas knack for big plays.

Or "splash plays.'' Or "chunk plays.'' Or "explosives.'' By whatever name, Dallas at Seattle figures to be all about which team giveth ... and which team taketh away.

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