Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 9/14/12

When the Dallas Cowboys take on the Seattle Seahawks, there will be a lot of focus on shutting down the Seahawks offense. After a rather vanilla game plan last week vs. Arizona, Dallas will look to take advantage of rookie QB Russell Wilson and force him into mistakes. They will also likely stuff the box full of run stoppers to try and account for Marshawn Lynch.

Lynch represents the type of running back that no one wants to play against. He runs hard–very hard–and seems to run harder as the game progresses (just ask the New Orleans Saints). Even while Dallas defeated the Seahawks at Cowboys Stadium last year, Lynch got his numbers. He finished with 135 yards and a touchdown, single handedly keeping the Seahawks in the game.

Let's hope we see none of this on Sunday (John Lok / The Seattle Times)

Yet, at least for us here at DC101, Lynch is not the scariest member of the Seahawks' backfield. Sean Lee and company should be able to shut down "Beast Mode" before it begins. That distinction belongs to 7th year veteran RB/KR/PR Leon Washington.

Washington is the type of player who can destroy you in one play. Similar to how Brandon Jacobs would wear down teams for the Giants, Lynch can almost lull teams to sleep with his bruising style and up-the-middle type runs. Then, in a flash, Washington can break one to the outside and be off to the races.

Last season, Washington averaged a solid 4.7 YPC (Lynch averaged 4.2). Ever since joining Seattle in 2010, Washington has not seen as many carries, but is almost more dangerous for it. After getting only 2 carries in Arizona, it will be interesting to see the type of workload he will get against Dallas. With Lynch still hurting from his back spasms, Washington may be in for some extra carries.

Quite possibly the scariest thing about Leon are his special teams abilities. Even though he failed to score a touchdown in the return game last year, Washington proved he's still got it last week with a scintillating 52 yard punt return and an 83 yard kick return vs. Arizona. Both plays combined to set up 10 of Seattle's 16 points.

Recently, the Cowboys have had good success defending the return game. In 2011, the longest kick return allowed by Dallas was 43 yards and the longest punt return allowed was 55 yards. They better hope to not allow anything bigger than that this Sunday.

It's plays like that from which teams get confidence. It's plays like that that allow a lesser team to stay in the game against a better team. It's plays like that the Dallas Cowboys cannot afford to give up against the Seahawks and Leon Washington. If the Cowboys can contain the big play, they will likely be able to escape Seattle with a win in a hostile environment. If Leon is seen scampering down the sideline for big gains, the Cowboys may be in for a let down.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

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