The Seahawks were tied with the Cowboys 6-6 at halftime despite allowing 304 yards of total offense and only gaining 134 of their own.
It was difficult enough to keep the game close in the first half. When the Seahawks started giving away yards via penalties in the second half of a 23-13 loss on Sunday, it became nearly impossible.
"This was a classic game where a football team goes out and plays real hard, does their stuff and then makes the mistakes that puts you in the loss column," coach Pete Carroll said. "... We had three penalties in the first half, we had seven in the second half. That told the story."
The Seahawks committed seven of their 10 penalties in the second half. "That told the story," Pete Carroll said of a game that was tied 6-6 at halftime. (AP)
A block in the back by Heath Farwell on the second-half kickoff forced the Seahawks to start at their own 6. Four plays later, a hold on Robert Gallery negated a first-down run by Justin Forsett. When the Seahawks punted two plays later, Byron Maxwell was called for unsportsmanlike conduct after referees deemed that he didn't make enough of an effort to get back in bounds after he was pushed out.
The Cowboys started that drive at their own 36 and needed six plays to score the go-ahead touchdown.
Maxwell was later called for an identical penalty.
Afterward, Pete Carroll seemed to be most perturbed by the pre-snap penalties. Anthony McCoy and Gallery were both flagged for false starts.
"That needs to go away," he said. "I've been saying that -- that hasn't happened yet and I'm disappointed that I'm here talking about that again, about five-yard penalties that just break your continuity. So I think we know what we've got to do."
Last week, the Seahawks committed 11 penalties in a loss to the Bengals, including three for false starts. Carroll attributed those mistakes to youth and a lack of continuity caused by an unsettled quarterback situation.
He wasn't exactly making excuses on Sunday, but he was vowing to make changes.
"I think we can fix the line of scrimmage," he said. "We need to make a move there. We have to do something."
Carroll clarified that the changes will be to "what we're doing" -- indicating they'll adjust their cadence as opposed to the personnel they're employing.
"We've been staying with the same thing, and I can't talk about it any more than that," he said. "We're just going to fix it."