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Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.

September 17, 2012 at 8:46 AM

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The real McCoy: Backup Seahawks' tight end steps up, stands out

For the second consecutive week, Seattle's backup tight end will be a major topic of conversation coming out of a game.

The difference is this time it's not Kellen Winslow who's being talked about.

It's Anthony McCoy, who led the team in receiving on Sunday against Dallas just like he did during the exhibition season. He had five balls thrown to him, caught all five for 41 yards and scored on a 22-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter to cap a 90-yard drive that changed the momentum of the game.

"We came out in a three tight end set," McCoy said of the TD play. "We wanted to get them off balance and see what they lined up in. The look that the coaches predicted is the look they gave us.

"Russell Wilson made a good decision, and we got the touchdown."

McCoy is a sixth-round pick out of USC who is in his third year with the team, and the past two years were notable mostly for the number of drops he had as Seattle's third tight end.

McCoy's performance Sunday followed up on an impressive August in which he had 106 yards receiving, most on the team. That emergence may have played a factor in Seattle's decision to release Winslow before it was obligated to pay him $3.3 million for the season.

After a week in which some people -- like this writer here -- spent a good chunk of time wringing hands over the downside of Winslow's departure, it's worth pointing out that it's not like there was a vacuum left behind when Winslow was cut. McCoy moved up a peg on the depth chart, and Seattle added Evan Moore, who was on the field for a number of plays.

Sunday's game won't be the ultimate judgment on whether Seattle made the right move in getting rid of Winslow after he spent four months preparing in the offense, but his departure doesn't figure to be a focus this week after the way McCoy played.

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