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Carroll: Seahawks offensive line took 'big step forward'

By Brady Henderson

Sunday's game against the Cowboys projected as a nightmarish matchup for the Seahawks offensive line.

That unit that had allowed the most sacks of any NFL team and had to deal with Pro-Bowl pass-rusher DeMarcus Ware, who was second in the league with 12 sacks. The Seahawks were averaging the second-fewest rushing yards per game and were facing the league's No. 4 run defense.

O-line-Cowboys
The Seahawks offensive line allowed one sack and paved the way for a season-high 162 yards rushing on Sunday. (AP)

The result? As Pete Carroll told "Brock and Salk" on Monday, it was their best performance of the season.

"Without question," Carroll said. "Really, [offensive line coach] Tom Cable made an issue of it last week that we needed to take this step. We had talked about it as a staff. We needed to make a step ahead. We were not moving ahead with what was going on as a running game.

"He addressed them perfectly, they responded perfectly, they did exactly what he wanted them to do, and we made a big jump for us."

The Seahawks rushed for a season-high 162 yards in a 23-13 loss, reaching triple digits for only the third time this season. Their 5.4 yards-per-carry average was also a season high. Marshawn Lynch accounted for 135 of those yards, marking the first time he has topped 100 yards in a regular-season game since joining the Seahawks.

Dallas was able to put pressure on Tarvaris Jackson, but only came away with one sack. The Seahawks had allowed 28 sacks, an average of four per game. Protecting Jackson against Ware was a priority, one that came at the expense of the no-huddle offense that has been successful in recent weeks.

"We picked him up with the tight end, we motioned the tight end to block him, we used the backs, we slid in ways that would give us an advantage on him," Carroll said of Ware. "That was not a no-huddle mode. That doesn't fit. The gameplans didn't match in the regard. That was a concession that we had to make to get that done."

Carroll said he was encouraged by the strides the offensive line made, particularly in the running game. He noted that next week's game against the Ravens will be another test.

Carroll expressed frustration after Sunday's game when discussing the Seahawks' 10 penalties, and seemed particularly miffed at those committed by the offensive line. He backed off of that criticism on Monday, saying he had mistakenly thought the offensive line was responsible for more penalties than it actually was.

"That wasn't as big a deal as I thought it was," he said. "That's because it's a recurring issue, so I overreacted a little bit."

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