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October 12, 2014 at 12:28 AM

Sunday morning links and notes: America’s Team makes rare visit

In an admission I know will date me, the first NFL regular season game I ever attended was also the first time the Dallas Cowboys came to Seattle on Oct. 3, 1976.

And that was when Dallas was in full America’s Team bloom, in between having barely lost Super Bowl X and winning Super Bowl XII. Here’s the box score, and as you can see, it wasn’t a bad game at all with Seattle taking an early 13-0 lead in what was just its fourth game before the Cowboys rallied to win 28-13. Looking at that box score, I’d forgotten Steve Largent returned kickoffs, if only briefly— I can say I saw two of the only eight he ever returned.

Dallas hasn’t been here all that often since — just seven times — which makes today’s game something of a treat. Think what you want of the whole America’s Team thing, but the Cowboys are one of the most iconic brands in NFL history, a team that helped make the NFL what it is.

Times columnist Jerry Brewer touched on some of what the Cowboys mean — and what the Seahawks can learn from them — in his column for the Sunday paper. Writes Brewer:

“For the past 35 years, the Dallas Cowboys have existed as the self-proclaimed America’s Team, embracing a nickname coined in a highlight video and flaunting it to the enjoyment, disagreement and resentment of sports fans across the nation.

Though intended to celebrate the Cowboys’ popularity and sprawling fan base, the moniker really describes their relevance. The Cowboys matter. Love ’em, hate ’em, laugh at ’em for their struggles the past 18 years, but you can’t ignore ’em. They are America’s Lightning Rod, if nothing else.”

Making for a game that figures to feel just a little bit different.

Now for some other links to prep you for the day. …

— Here’s our review of the first quarter of the Seahawks’ season.

— A quick look at the Cowboys.

— And here’s a quick exam of some of the reasons the Seahawks haven’t gotten more turnovers so far.

— Seahawks.com with five matchups to watch.

— Seahawls.com with where and how to watch the game.

— The Dallas Morning News says the Cowboys have to stop Russell Wilson’s running.

— The Fort Worth Star-Telegram looks at the matchup of Dez Bryant and Richard Sherman.

— The Star-Telegram also has five things to watch.

— The Star-Telegram also says the key matchup could be Dallas center Travis Frederick vs. Brandon Mebane.

— Field Gulls with lots of stuff on the game.

— Chawk Talk wonders why Wilson doesn’t run more.

— Here’s a vote for the Cowboys avoiding Sherman.

— Here’s one view that the Cowboys may be improved but the Seahawks are still better.

— NFL.com with a viewer’s guide to the day.

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