Seahawks pick Smith starter after preseason loss to Cowboys

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Geno Smith is the pick as the Seattle Seahawks’ first quarterback replacement for Russell Wilson.

Coach Pete Carroll made the announcement Friday night after a 27-26 loss to the Dallas Cowboys that included three interceptions from Drew Lock.

It seemed clear that Lock’s tough night, which included a touchdown pass, wasn’t the deciding factor. Smith played one series before Lock played into the fourth quarter.

“Geno, he knows our stuff and he does it really well and he understands and he commands everything we do,” Carroll said. “He will give us the best chance to play great football from the start.”

The Seahawks are entering a new era after selling Super Bowl winner and 10-year starter Wilson to Denver, where Lock has started 21 games over the past three seasons.

Lock saw plenty of game time after missing the second preseason game due to COVID-19. Carroll said it would be a “makeup deal,” but Smith had already done a lot to make the Seahawks think he was the pick.

“This is just the first step in this process, but it’s really about winning,” said Smith, who was Wilson’s backup after starting most of his first two years in the NFL with the New York Jets and eight seasons in 45 games had 34 starts. “None of this is going to matter unless we go out there and win the games that we should be winning.”

Despite Lock’s picks, the Seahawks (0-3) were never behind until the Cowboys made a connection between two long shots for the roster. Ben DiNucci found tight end Peyton Hendershot on a 14-yard TD with 4:07 remaining.

In his only series, Smith took the Seahawks to the Dallas 19 before a penalty kick and 14-yard sack forced them to settle for the first of four field goals from Jason Myers, a 53-yarder.

Israel Mukuamu intercepted Lock’s second pass before Lock threw a 35-yard TD to Penny Hart in the first game of his second series after a fourth stop by the Seattle defense.

Dallas’ Nahshon Wright came off his man on the outside and stepped in front of Hart on Lock’s second interception and settled in Will Grier’s 1-yard throw to Simi Fehoko to get the Cowboys (2-1) within 13-10 late in the first half.

Lock’s third interception set up another Dallas TD as undrafted rookie safety Markquese Bell penned in a tilted pass while rumbled to the Seattle 13 Star quarterback Dak Prescott broke off his TV interview to celebrate. Brandon Smith made a toe-tapping catch in the end zone for a 20-20 tie.

Lock led another TD drive early in the second half, but DeeJay Dallas’ runback took center stage. The third-grader had 50 of his 75 yards on the drive, capped off by his 1-yard tumble for a 20-10 lead.

In the fourth quarter, Lock finished 13 of 24 for 171 yards and a 51.2 passer rating.

“As a competitor, you’re always disappointed, and I was disappointed,” Lock said of Carroll’s decision. “You want to go out there and show you can do it. Now it’s my job to stand behind him. Be the best teammate I can be.”

Behind Prescott, who played the full preseason for the second straight year, not much seemed to change in the competition. This time it was intentional after a shoulder injury kept him out for most of the 2021 preseason. Almost every other scheduled Dallas starter hasn’t played this preseason either.

Officiating Cooper Rush managed a streak that ended in a punt before Grier played the next 2 1/2 quarters, finishing 12 of 22 for 88 yards with two points and no interceptions.

The Cowboys were two days away from news that eight-time Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith will likely be out until December with a hamstring tear that also resulted in a fracture in his left knee.

His most likely replacement, rookie first-round pick Tyler Smith, was sidelined with an ankle injury. Second year Josh Ball started and saw a lot of action but doesn’t seem ready to be the starter on Prescott’s blind side.

After returning a kickoff and a punt return for touchdowns last weekend, Dallas receiver KaVontae Turpin saw no action in the second leg and got some offensive work. He had an 8-yard catch on two targets.

Seattle receiver Dee Eskridge, returning from a hamstring injury, had an 18-yard punt return and an 8-yard catch on three targets. The Seahawks envision him as the No. 3 receiver, but he’s struggled to stay healthy.

Dallas CB Kelvin Joseph, whose roster spot could be in jeopardy, left after the first game and didn’t return. He was ruled out with a concussion.

Both teams open the season at prime time. The Cowboys have their first game of Sunday night at home on September 11 against Tom Brady and Tampa Bay. The Seahawks play Denver on September 12 in the first game Monday night at home. Seahawks pick Smith starter after preseason loss to Cowboys

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