The Seahawks face the Cowboys in a must-win game for both teams — though it's Dallas that enters the contest with momentum, getting Pro Bowl running back Ezekiel Elliott back from a six-game suspension.
All eight panelists pick the Cowboys straight up.
Brady Henderson: Cowboys 26, Seahawks 21
“The Seahawks’ run defense is trending in a bad direction heading into Sunday’s meeting with the Cowboys and Ezekiel Elliott, who will be back from a six-game suspension. What galled coach Pete Carroll the most about the Seahawks’ demoralizing 42-7 loss to the Rams was how they were gashed by Todd Gurley & Co. to the tune of 244 yards rushing, the most against Seattle since 2010. It also marked the second consecutive week in which a running back has topped 100 yards against Seattle. Having linebacker K.J. Wright back from a concussion will help, and the Seahawks figure to put up a good fight, given that they need to win out to maintain any shot at the playoffs. But their defense is still missing several key players whose absences appear to have finally caught up to the Seahawks. ”
Todd Archer: Cowboys 27, Seahawks 20
“At the start of the season, this would have been considered one of the Cowboys’ most difficult games, because of Seattle’s historically strong defense. Without Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and Cliff Avril over their past five outings, however, the Seahawks have given up 25.8 points per game and 134.2 yards on the ground. The Cowboys welcome back Ezekiel Elliott from a six-game suspension on Sunday. He needs 87 yards to put up the most rushing yards in the first two seasons by a Cowboys runner. Emmitt Smith had 2,500 in 1991-92 on his way to becoming the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. Elliott will run the ball well, and his return will open the play-action game down the middle of the field for tight end Jason Witten.”
Benjamin Hoffman picks the Cowboys (minus-5) against the spread.
“Coach Jason Garrett was cagey about how involved [Ezekiel] Elliott would be in the offense. But Elliott seems to thrive with more work, and it would not be a surprise to see him carry the ball 25 times or more. In a productive four-game stretch leading up to his suspension, he averaged 28.8 carries a game and scored six total touchdowns as Dallas was 4-0.
The Seahawks are coming off a brutal loss to the Rams that seemed like a nail in their coffin. They were trying to remain relevant after losing defensive backs Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor for the season. Coach Pete Carroll was quick to point out that while a 42-7 loss was hard to look at, two weeks before that, Seattle beat the Eagles in a dominant effort.
Chris Simms: Cowboys 28, Seahawks 24
“The Dallas Cowboys have been opening up holes in the run game, and Dak Prescott is playing well. Dallas really dominated the Oakland Raiders last week but made a few critical mistakes that allowed the Raiders to stay in the game. If the Cowboys avoid those mistakes, they’ll beat the Seattle Seahawks.
This game will see the return of Ezekiel Elliott, and that can’t be underestimated. He’s a guy who can take an average hole and turn it into a huge play. Eight-yard gains with Alfred Morris can become 80-yard gains with Elliott.
We’ve seen the Seahawks defense break against the run this season too, like it did last week against the Rams.
Russell Wilson will be able to make some plays, but Dallas’ defensive line is legit. It will be able to contain Wilson to a degree and make some big plays of its own. Don’t expect Wilson to create enough magic to win this week.”
Mike Florio: Cowboys 35, Seahawks 14
“This would have been a great game if the Seahawks hadn’t fallen apart in recent weeks.”
Michael David Smith: Cowboys 24, Seahawks 14
“This is a must-win game, as the team that loses will be eliminated. I think that’s going to be the Seahawks, who just haven’t been playing well of late.”
Elliot Harrison: Cowboys 30, Seahawks 23
“The Cowboys win on the strength of the run game. That doesn’t mean Ezekiel Elliott will trounce Seattle’s front single-handedly. Elliott is fresh, for sure, but he could also come out as rusty as Aaron Rodgers did in Carolina last weekend. Dallas’ offensive line is superior to the Rams’ unit that just overpowered the Seahawks — at least when the Cowboys’ big boys are playing as their highest selves. (Well, not their metaphysical selves. This isn’t chakra talk. I mean as offensive linemen and such.) Seattle is still trying to topple those Rams in the NFC West. Dallas is looking to grab a wild-card spot. Since Elliott’s suspension started in Week 10, Dallas has boasted the NFL’s 30th-ranked offense. They were eighth before he departed. Read into that what you must.”
Pete Prisco: Cowboys 26, Seahawks 17
“These two are still alive, which makes this a playoff game of sorts. The Seahawks are a shell of the team we’ve come to expect. Dallas gets Ezekiel Elliott back, and I think he runs wild. The Cowboys stay alive.”
Four of five panelists pick the Cowboys straight up.
All five panelists pick the Cowboys (minus-4.5) against the spread.
All eight panelists pick the Cowboys straight up.