Seahawks find success splitting TE Jimmy Graham out wide

When asked about flexing Jimmy Graham out wide against the Cowboys, head coach Pete Carroll pointed out that the Seattle Seahawks have used him that way all season.

"We’ve really done that in every game," Carroll said. "Maybe you haven’t noticed it, but he did catch a couple balls from outside. He’s been out in every game, so we continue to do that."

But in the first seven weeks, Graham caught three balls for 18 yards when split out wide like a receiver, according to ESPN Stats & Information. In Week 8 against the Cowboys, he caught three balls for 28 yards from that alignment.

On one play, the Seahawks isolated Graham on the left side, and the Cowboys matched up cornerback Morris Claiborne against him in man coverage. Graham ran a slant, used his big frame to get position in front of Claiborne and picked up 11 yards.

They went to a similar look later in the quarter. This time, the Cowboys were in zone coverage, but Graham still picked up 9.

And on a key third down on the game-winning drive, the Seahawks lined Graham up out wide once again. This time, wide receiver Tyler Lockett was in the slot, and the rookie set a pick on Graham's defender, giving him space on a slant that picked up 8 yards and a first down.

"We want to move [him] all around the field," said quarterack Russell Wilson. "... We want to find different ways in getting him the football and make it tough on the defense. We were able to get him the ball there several different times, and he came up with some catches. We should have had more."

Graham finished with seven catches for 75 yards against the Cowboys. This season, he's the team's leading receiver and on pace for 76 catches and 900 yards.

Graham has eight catches of 20-plus yards, already matching his total from last season. The one area where the Seahawks need to get more from him is in the red zone. Graham has three red-zone catches for eight yards and one touchdown, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

But with an impressive three-game stretch, his role in the offense appears better defined. And don't be surprised if they split Graham out wide more in the second half of the season.

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