Winners and Losers from Steelers loss to Cowboys in Week 15

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

A tough overtime loss accentuated poor performance from multiple players as the Steelers fall 27-24 (OT) to Dallas.


Heath Miller - Seven targets, seven catches. Why wasn't he getting the ball again in the second half? It's a good question, and one that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is asking publicly. Mistakes happen, but none of us will ever walk away from a game thinking, "the Steelers lost because they refused to throw to anyone else but Heath Miller."

Mike Wallace - While he did have at least one other drop, Wallace led the team in the second half, burning Dallas's two-deep coverage for a 60-yard gain. That catch set up a touchdown at a point where it appeared the Steelers were going to be able to put the game away. We appreciate you trying to time a fumble, punching at the ball from behind, Mike, but you can just jump on the dude's back, too. Nice game, though.

James Harrison - His forced fumble was straight out of his historical highlight reel. He swatted the ball out of DeMarco Murray's hands like a point guard. One of the very few plays made on the defensive side of the ball. Plus, his power slam of Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo on a fake dive he didn't buy was classic Deebo.


Josh Victorian - Covering Dallas's wide receivers isn't easy. It's a completions league, guys are going to catch passes. And to Victorian's credit, I'm not sure I've ever seen a cornerback get picked on as much as he did. However, he had several missed tackles, went way too high on an attempt to tackle fullback Lawrence Vickers and got trucked and missed multiple opportunities to make plays on the ball.

Antonio Brown - He never got over his fumble in the fourth quarter, leading to a poor decision to not field a punt that cost the Steelers 19 yards. He lined up 60 yards off the ball (apparently anticipating a 75 yard punt from Brian Moorman), and at the end of that drive, he chose to run out of bounds after catching a short pass, showing he was completely out of the game mentally. It stopped the clock with 1:05 to play, and allowed Dallas to save one of its final two timeouts.

Jonathan Dwyer - He had nine carries for 22 yards with a high of six. One was a short-yardage touchdowns, and that's nice and all, but when the other two running backs, Isaac Redman (three for 30) and Chris Rainey (three for 15) all ran for longer gains more consistently, it brings into question yet again why he's starting and getting the bulk of the carries. Some concession is given to the Steelers' decision to run the ball infrequently, but it's clear at this point in the season Dwyer is going to get somewhere around nine carries. He shouldn't consistently need more than that to average more than 2.4 yards a carry.

Emmanuel Sanders - Another drop and another injury.

Larry Foote - His steady decline this season shows the Steelers have little choice but to invest in this position this offseason. He was repeatedly blown off the ball and missed multiple tackles as the Steelers' defense was as ineffective as it has been at any point this season.

LaMarr Woodley - Yes, he did play in this game. He was on the field for more than 80 percent of the team's snaps. That could have been his least effective game of his career. Two tackles, no pressures. He's going to have to figure out a way to stay on the field more often next year and contribute when he's out there.

Troy Polamalu - Missed tackles and lax coverage in a game the Steelers' defense desperately needed him to step up.

Kelvin Beachum - There's just way too much pressure coming off that edge. He was overwhelmed, confused and beaten.

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