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Cowboys defense suffers through mistake-filled afternoon

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson lights up the Cowboys defense for 315 yards passing and five touchdown passes.
Credit: AP
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf, left, and Dallas Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs, right, react after Diggs knocked the ball loose from Metcalf's hands after a pass reception near the end zone during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

DALLAS — Through three games the Cowboys defense has continued to struggle and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson had no problem exploiting the Cowboys defensive deficiencies in Seattle 38-31 win Sunday.

So much so that head coach Mike McCarthy didn’t have much to say about a defensive effort filled with penalties, mental mistakes, and plenty of points, “you play and people are not supposed to run wide open so that’s what Mondays are for and we’ll take a hard look at it.”

"Hard look," is a pretty apt way to describe the Cowboys defense in this one. It was hard to watch.

At times they look lost and other times they look helpless. Like on a second-quarter Seahawks scoring drive when the defense committed three penalties. Not only extending the drive but basically handing the Seahawks a touchdown on a silver platter.

“It was really on us, honestly just miscommunication,” said rookie cornerback Trevon Diggs, “things we’ve got to correct in practice, but we’re going to get it right."

They couldn’t get it right, though, for much of the afternoon at CenturyLink Field, where Russell Wilson wasn’t even at his sharpest, but still threw for 315 yards and five touchdowns. It should have been six, but more on that in a moment.

Far too many times Seattle receivers were running wide open on their way to the end zone.

“I think we need to do a better job of starting games,” said defensive end Aldon Smith. “That’s just something that comes with time, experience, and us knowing each other and growing together."

There were a couple of bright spots. Aldon Smith racked up three of the Cowboys four sacks; yes there were finally able to generate some pressure.

And rookie cornerback Trevon Diggs certainly looks like he has plenty of upside and when he didn’t give up after getting burned by DK Metcalf for what should have been a 63-yard touchdown, Diggs punched the ball out right before Metcalf crossed the goal line, creating on of the more sensational plays of the day for a defense with far too few of them.

“Most of the plays that we gave them was because of us,” said Diggs. “We’ve got to fix that. We fix that and the score may be different. It’s just communication and I’ve got all the faith in all of us. It takes all of us, so we’re going to get it done.”

At least the rookie’s optimistic, if not realistic.