Seahawks OT Russell Okung vs. Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware: It’s not a given that Okung will start, coach Pete Carroll said after Friday’s practice. If he can’t go, Frank Omiyale will step in, as he did after Okung bruised his left knee on the ninth play of the Seahawks’ final 18-play drive in their season-opening loss to the Cardinals. Whoever starts, he will have his hands full with Ware, who had two sacks in the Cowboys’ upset of the defending Super Bowl champion Giants in their opener and posted 19.5 last season. The Seahawks held Ware without a sack in Texas last season, but he had four QB pressures. And Ware had three sacks in a 2008 game against the Seahawks, including two against future Hall of Fame left tackle Walter Jones – who was playing with a knee injury so severe that it made that game the last of his career.
One to watch
Seahawks offense vs. the red zone: Getting points – and touchdowns over field goals – was a major point of emphasis this week after the Seahawks generated 16 points in their opener, despite getting an 83-yard kickoff return and a 52-yard punt return from Leon Washington and two big turnovers from the defense. But even more frustrating was driving from their 20-yard line to the Cardinals’ 4 last week, only to have three Russell Wilson passes fall incomplete.
Fun to watch
Seahawks secondary vs. the Cowboys’ stable of receivers: There’s Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten, who has more catches (446) than any tight end in the league since 2007. There’s wide receiver Miles Austin, who had 1,000-yard receiving seasons in 2009 and 2010 and averaged 18.3 yards on four catches in their opener. There’s wide receiver Dez Bryant, a first-round draft choice in 2010 who caught nine TD passes last season and averaged 21.3 yards on four catches in the opener. Now there’s Kevin Olgetree, who averaged 8.3 catches and 98 yards in his first three seasons with the team but had eight catches for 114 yards and two TDs in the opener. As nickel back Marcus Trufant put it, “They’ve got a lot of guys over there that can make a lot of big plays. So we’ve got to be able to cover the whole field.”
One tough task
Cowboys C Ryan Cook vs. Seahawks NT Brandon Mebane: Cook, who was acquired two weeks ago in a trade with the Miami Dolphins, is in because starter Phil Costa is out with a back injury. And this Cook will be feeling the heat that Mebane can generate. Mebane was a force in the opener against the Cardinals, with four tackles, two tipped passes and fumble recovery on a play where he stood the ball carrier up so linebacker K.J. Wright could force the fumble from behind.
In his past three games against the Seahawks – all victories – Cowboys QB Tony Romo has fashioned a passer rating of 111.2 by completing 62 of 101 passes for 866 yards with eight touchdowns and an interception. In games where Romo has a passer rating of 100-plus, the Cowboys are 35-8. … Ware has produced 27.5 sacks in his past 20 games and since 2006 he has a league-high 93.5. … Since last season’s Week 9 game in Dallas, Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch has run for a league-high 1,026 yards – including 85 in last week’s opener and 135 against the Cowboys. … Wilson will make his first regular-season start at home after producing the second-best passer rating (62.5) among the five rookie QBs who started last week. … Washington needs one kickoff return for a touchdown to tie the NFL record of eight that belongs to the Browns’ Josh Cribbs. … The Seahawks were one of six teams in the league that did not have a dropped pass last week. … The Cowboys lead the overall series 9-4, and are 3-2 in Seattle. … The Seahawks have won eight of their past nine home openers, including three in a row, and are 16-20 overall.