Seahawks trying to build what Cowboys have

Cowboys OLThe Dallas Cowboys have what the Seahawks want, but the only way Seattle could get it is by losing a lot more and using first-round picks.

We’re talking about a great offensive line, of course.

If Russell Okung, who injured his ankle in practice Thursday, misses the game in Dallas on Sunday, the Seahawks will end up starting undrafted players at the tackle spots and center, with a seventh-round conversion at right guard and a second-round reach at left guard.

The Cowboys, meanwhile, have invested three first-round picks in their line over the last five drafts, and they lucked into a potential first-rounder when rookie La’el Collins went undrafted due to a murder case he was peripherally attached to.

The Cowboys won a recruiting war for Collins, adding him to an already stacked line that includes left tackle Tyron Smith, the No. 9 pick in the 2011 draft; center Travis Frederick, the No. 31 pick in 2013; right guard Zack Martin, the No. 16 pick in 2014; and veteran right tackle Doug Free.

“They’ve put their money in it. They’ve got three No. 1s playing there, those guys are all terrific football players,” Pete Carroll said. “Tyron was a guy that we loved coming up; he’s a fantastic athlete at the spot. And Zack’s terrific; it’s just a really good group. I think that they made a commitment to it and they’re benefiting from it. I don’t know if they’re the best one — we won’t see everybody particularly – but they’re as good as we’re going to see all year long.”

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Bennett says Hawks became complacent, selfish, unfocused

Michael Bennett (72), Bruce Irvin and Cliff Avril (rear) against San Diego in Week 2 (Getty)The Seahawks are looking to prove this week that they really have awakened from their early-season doldrums and have returned to Super Bowl contenders.

For the record, Michael Bennett has not experienced any hangover — even though he was unhappy with his contract last offseason and considered holding out, as Kam Chancellor actually did. Instead, Bennett has played as well as ever (a bunch of early offsides penalties notwithstanding) — and is coming off a 3.5-sack effort against San Francisco that earned him recognition as the NFC’s defensive player of the week.

In a couple of recent interviews, the always candid Bennett said he chose not to hold out because he is determined to help lead the Seahawks back to the Super Bowl. And he shed some light on the causes, as he sees them, of Seattle’s ridiculous 2-4 start.

To sum it up, Bennett said the team became complacent, greedy, selfish, unfocused — all while getting younger because it has lost some key veterans over the past two years. He said this incarnation of the Seahawks had to learn how to handle losing and needed to regain the trust, chemistry and confidence that had disappeared since the last Super Bowl. He also hinted that XLIX still lingered in the minds of the Seahawks — proof that Pete Carroll did indeed damage his team’s psyche with his stupid call on the goal line at the end of that game.

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CHAWK LINES -- Seahawks at Cowboys

Apparently, Thomas Rawls is not going to be able to play this week. Why else would the Seahawks sign Bryce Brown? The Hawks lost Rod Smith off waivers to Dallas two weeks ago, so they had to look elsewhere for reinforcements this time. B.J. Daniels was released for the second time this season.

Pete Carroll says K.J. Wright is having his best season (he’s great at defending screen plays, and he’s apparently not the one giving up big yards to tight ends).

Paul Richardson’s pending return highlights the general lack of contributions from the 2013 and 2014 draft classes.

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Hawks are getting healthier, but they can’t get any better at center

Seahawks bandagesPaul Richardson’s return to practice is the big news this week, but the Seahawks probably are more concerned with the possible returns of a few other injured players they have missed recently.

Garry Gilliam, Jordan Hill, Derrick Coleman and Marcus Burley are all expected to practice this week and play in Dallas. Gilliam missed stretches of the game vs. the 49ers last week due to an ankle injury. Hill (quadriceps) and Coleman (car accident) have missed the past two games, and Burley (broken thumb) has been out for three.

Pete Carroll also said he expects Demarcus Dobbs, who has missed three of the past four games, to make it back to practice.

“You can see there’s a number of guys that are going to be battling to get back out there,” Carroll said. “It’ll be great to see if we can pull that together, and it’ll make the practice feel much more competitive. We’ll see what that means for game day. I don’t know yet.”

The biggest question probably is at center, where Patrick Lewis didn’t even make it through one start before Drew Nowak had to be reinserted and Lemuel Jeanpierre re-signed. Not that it matters who plays that spot.

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P-Rich’s return will mean more later, but just imagine him & Lockett

Paul Richardson goes up for a catch against Janoris Jenkins (Seahawks.com)If the Seahawks actually gave Russell Wilson enough time to throw the ball consistently, the return of Paul Richardson would mean a lot more.

As it is, his impending return — whether this week or after the bye — won’t add much to the offense. Not immediately anyway.

But, if the Seahawks can get to the point where Wilson has time to throw some deep balls, Richardson and Tyler Lockett should offer a great deep duo.

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Remember when the Seahawks ‘slammed’ the door on Hardy?

Greg HardyAs Greg Hardy proceeds to melt down in Dallas right before our eyes – and right before the Seahawks play the Cowboys this weekend — it’s a good reminder that the Seahawks realized what a head case the mercurial pass rusher was and steered away from him.

If you recall, a report out of Dallas in March indicated the Seahawks were willing to match any offer the Cowboys made for Hardy, who was facing a domestic-assault case and a suspension (which ended up being cut from 10 games to four).

The Seahawks did admit to checking into Hardy, calling it their usual “due diligence,” but general manager John Schneider also said they had zero interest in Hardy once they learned the specifics of the domestic assault case.

“We talk about being in on every single deal so we don’t miss out on something,” Schneider said in May. “… Once we found out what was going on with that situation, we were done. It was over. But we had to find out what happened. We opened that door, we looked inside and we slammed it.”

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Offense still has big problems, but Carroll has a plan to fix them

Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson plan to be clapping about their offense a lot this season (Getty Images)It’s a good thing the Seahawks are finishing the first half of the season with a couple of struggling teams, because their offense still has its own issues to reconcile.

Sure, the Seahawks finally finished an opponent Thursday, dominating the San Francisco 49ers like they did last year, but the Seattle offense still functioned only about half as well as it should. And Pete Carroll knows things have to change if the Seahawks are going to win another Super Bowl this season.

Russell Wilson was sacked five times and Marshawn Lynch had to fight too hard for most of his 122 yards. While the line gave the running back some good cutback lanes early on the first drive, it took five tries for him to score from the 3-yard line. In fact, about half of Lynch’s 27 runs went for three yards or less. That explains why his teammates were so fired up by his performance — he did most of it himself.

Carroll thinks Seattle’s mostly neophyte line is getting better at run blocking, based on Lynch’s best game of the season and the 200-yard rushing day at Cincinnati a couple of weeks ago. But the simple fact is the unit is still far too inconsistent. And it is pathetic at pass blocking.

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Seahawks getting ready for another big run

CHAWK LINES -- Seahawks at 49ersAfter dominating the 49ers again, the Seahawks are set to make another great run toward the playoffs.

Bob Condotta points out that the Seahawks picked a good year to start slowly.

Marshawn Lynch means more than just numbers to the Seahawks. Beast Mode inspires the entire team.

Kris Richard’s critics were quieted by Seattle’s dominant defensive performance vs. the 49ers.

Kam Chancellor was fined for a hit on Carolina center Ryan Kalil — and he did not appreciate it.

Field Gulls with a bunch more links about the game and other things NFL.

CHAWK LINES -- Seahawks at 49ers

The day after the 20-3 win over the 49ers, Pete Carroll told 710 ESPN the Seahawks didn’t do anything they weren’t supposed to do. He also talked about Russell Wilson’s interceptions, among other things.

The Legion of Boom talked about yet another dominating defensive performance vs. the 49ers.

Marshawn Lynch had his best game, despite hurling on the sideline. “We’re going to go as far as he takes us,” Doug Baldwin said.

Michael Bennett had a career-best 3.5 sacks — though he made a good point he should have gotten partial credit for a fourth.

Will Tukuafu played a lot, as fullback and defensive lineman, and six defenders played every snap.

The Seahawks still have plenty to prove, Dave Boling correctly says.

The great rivalry between the Hawks and Niners is dead, as the teams head in different directions, Danny Kelly writes.

CHAWK LINES -- Seahawks at 49ers

Bobby Wagner will return and Fred Jackson talked to the team about his car crash.

Anquan Boldin and Carlos Hyde were listed as questionable for the 49ers.

Bucky Brooks explains what we have said since last season: The Seahawks are vulnerable to short passing games.

Unlike previous seasons, Seahawks-49ers is less must-see TV than it is must-win TV.

Key matchups for the Seahawks vs. the 49ers tonight, via Seahawks.com.

Five things to watch for, from NFL.com.

The Seahawks are 13-2 in prime time under Pete Carroll.

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