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Seattle edges Dallas with frantic finish

SEATTLE (Oct. 23, 2005) -- With the Dallas Cowboys moving the ball near midfield and 14 seconds remaining in a tie game, Seattle kicker Josh Brown was preparing for overtime.

"I'm on the sideline trying to get mentally ready, trying to be by myself," Brown said. "It's one of those moments where you know what's coming. You know it's going to come. You just have to win the coin toss."

Instead of a coin toss, Seattle nickel back Jordan Babineaux tossed Brown's -- not to mention the Seahawks' and Cowboys' -- worlds upside down.

Babineaux intercepted Drew Bledsoe 's sideline pass intended for Terry Glenn with 5 seconds left and returned it 25 yards to the Dallas 32.

Brown rushed onto the field and nailed a 50-yard field goal with no time left to give Seattle a 13-10 win. Dallas had controlled the first 58 minutes of the rainy grudge match of NFC division leaders.

Brown, who made a 55-yarder in the second quarter, threw his helmet into the Seattle mist and braced for the entire Seahawks roster, which was rushing him at midfield.

"I took my helmet off, that way they couldn't throw me to the ground," Brown said. "There is a little planning in there."

The thrilling turnabout was Seattle's third straight win and kept the Seahawks two games ahead of St. Louis atop the NFC West. They go into their bye week 5-2 for the sixth time in their 30-year history. Four times, they have made the playoffs after such a start. The fifth time, in 1986, they finished 10-6.

Dallas (5-3) fell out of the NFC East lead, a half-game behind Washington, Philadelphia and the New York Giants. The frantic finish -- the opposite of the Cowboys' 10-point rally in the final 2 minutes here last December that beat the Seahawks 43-39 -- also denied the Cowboys their first three-game winning streak since October 2003, Bill Parcells' first season in Dallas.

It was the second late-game collapse for the Cowboys this season. In Week 2, Washington scored two touchdowns in the final 3:46 to beat Dallas 14-13.

But Dallas owner Jerry Jones called it "as tough a game to lose as any game we've had, any game we've ever had."

Whatever, said the irascible Parcells.

"I'm not into a State of the Union after one of those kinds of games," the coach said. "We'll have to wait a while."

Seattle had to wait a while -- 57:59 seconds of game time, actually -- before its league-leading offense generated much. The Cowboys continually controlled the line of scrimmage by putting as many as nine defenders within 4 yards of the ball, even on passing downs. That left Shaun Alexander, the NFL rushing leader entering Sunday, mostly stuck in neutral.

During passes, Cowboys cover men continually hit receivers Joe Jurevicius, D.J. Hackett and Jerheme Urban -- Seattle's replacements for injured starters Darrell Jackson and Bobby Engram.

Alexander finished with 61 yards rushing on 21 carries. He gained 3 yards or less on 13 of his runs. His longest run was an 11-yard dash on the Seahawks' 81-yard drive within the final 2 minutes.

The Seattle offense, averaging 407 yards coming in, finished with 289.

"They had a lot of guys in the box," Pro Bowl guard Steve Hutchinson said. "It was like beating your head against the wall."

Seattle tied it at 10 with 40 seconds left when backup tight end Ryan Hannam caught quarterback Matt Hasselbeck 's 1-yard TD pass while tumbling in the end zone.

Hasselbeck, 23-of-42 for 224 yards with the one touchdown and two interceptions, completed all four of his passes on the 81-yard march. A 22-yard pass-interference penalty on Dallas' Aaron Glenn with 1:40 remaining moved the Seahawks to the Cowboys 25 and in position for the score.

"Every drive we were in the huddle saying, 'Hey, let's make some plays' -- after a while, you get sick of hearing that," Hasselbeck said. "We actually had to go do it."

But when Dallas' Tyson Thompson returned the ensuing kickoff 39 yards, to the Cowboys 41 all eyes moved toward Dallas kicker Jose Cortez, who had earlier missed a 29-yard field goal after an errant snap. Then Bledsoe -- 13-for-24 for 136 yards and a 5-yard touchdown pass to Keyshawn Johnson in the first quarter -- put the attention on the unsuspecting Brown instead with his second interception of the day.

The kick redeemed Brown's miss four weeks ago, when he hit the left upright from 49 yards on the final play of regulation in a 20-17 overtime loss in Washington.

"I told him sometime in the season we were going to be in the exact situation, and he was going to make it," Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said.

"And he did."

Notes: Alexander's 11-yard run on the final Seattle touchdown drive gave him 6,713 career yards, passing Chris Warren as the franchise leader. ... Dallas played without starting running back Julius Jones, linebacker Dat Nguyen and defensive end Kenyon Coleman. Marion Barber ran for 95 yards on 22 carries in Jones' place. The game attracted the second-largest crowd in the four-year history of Qwest Field, 67,046 - despite the first in-game rain in stadium history.

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