Dallas provided blueprint for stopping Seattle

The Cowboys' 3-4 defense gave the Seahawks fits in Week 7. As luck would have it, the Steelers use a very similar scheme.

Updated: February 1, 2006, 2:19 PM ET
By Rick Spielman | ESPN Insider
The Seahawks' offense is firing on all cylinders. Seattle has the league MVP in Shaun Alexander, a physically dominating offensive line led by Walter Jones and Steve Hutchinson, a solid group of receivers led by Darrell Jackson and a very underrated tight end in Jerramy Stevens.

Running the show, of course, is quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who has demonstrated a great understanding of Mike Holmgren's West Coast offense. He is playing with a lot of confidence, making smart decisions and not turning the ball over.

This offense did hit one bump in the road on its way to Super Bowl XL, though, and that came in Week 7 against the Dallas Cowboys' 3-4 defense. Seattle trailed 10-3 in that game until scoring twice in the final two minutes to pull out a 13-10 victory. As luck would have it, the Seahawks' Super Bowl opponent also runs an effective 3-4 defense, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are firing on all cylinders as well.

Rick Spielman

NFL Insider analyst
Rick Spielman joined ESPN Insider as an NFL analyst after a five-year stint in the front office of the Miami Dolphins, first as Vice President of Player Personnel and later as General Manager. He also has worked in the front offices of the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions.