ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Drew Lock threw for a touchdown with three interceptions before the Dallas Cowboys rallied to beat the Seahawks 27-26 on Friday night in Seattle’s final preseason game before deciding on Russell Wilson‘s replacement.
A pair of long shots for the Dallas roster connected for the winning score when Ben DiNucci found tight end Peyton Hendershot on a 14-yard TD with 4:07 remaining.
Geno Smith, continually noted as the leader in the competition with Lock, played one series, moving the Seahawks (0-3) to the Dallas 19 before a penalty and a 14-yard sack forced them to settle for Jason Myers‘ 53-yard field goal.
Lock saw plenty of playing time after missing the second preseason game because of COVID-19. Coach Pete Carroll said it would be a “makeup deal,” but Lock’s picks may have titled the choice even more toward Smith.
Israel Mukuamu intercepted Lock’s second pass before the former Denver starter threw a 35-yard TD to Penny Hart on the first play of his second series following a fourth-down 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, setting up Will Grier‘s 1-yard scoring toss to Simi Fehoko to get the Cowboys (2-1) within 13-10 late in the first half.
The third interception from Lock set up another Dallas TD when undrafted rookie safety Markquese Bell corralled a tipped pass and rumbled to the Seattle 13 while star quarterback Dak Prescott stopped 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 to start the second half, but running back DeeJay Dallas was the focus. The third-year back had 50 of his 75 yards rushing on the drive, capped by his 1-yard plunge for a 20-10 lead.
Playing into the fourth quarter, Lock finished 13 of 24 for 171 yards and a 51.2 passer rating.
Not much appeared to change in the competition behind Prescott, who sat the entire preseason for the second consecutive year. This time it was by design after a shoulder injury kept him out most of the 2021 preseason. Almost every other projected Dallas starter didn’t play this preseason either.
Incumbent Cooper Rush handled one series that ended in a punt before Grier played the next 2 1/2 quarters, finishing 12 of 22 for 88 yards with two scores and no interceptions.
REPLACING TYRON SMITH
The Cowboys were two days removed from getting the news that eight-time Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith probably will be out until December with a torn hamstring that also resulted in a fracture in his left knee.
His most likely replacement, rookie first-round pick Tyler Smith, didn’t play because of an ankle injury. Second-year man Josh Ball started and saw plenty of action, but doesn’t appear 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 didn’t see action in the return game and got some work on offense. He had an 8-yard catch on two targets.
Seattle receiver Dee Eskridge returned from a hamstring injury and 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 had trouble staying healthy.
Dallas CB Kelvin Joseph, whose roster spot could be in jeopardy, left after the first play and didn’t return. He was ruled out with a concussion.
Both teams open the season in prime time. The Cowboys have the first Sunday night game at home against Tom Brady and Tampa Bay on Sept. 11. The Seahawks are home against Denver in the first Monday night game Sept. 12.