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Knee Jerk Reactions to the Steelers 16-3 win over the Cowboys in the Hall of Fame Game

It wasn’t a finished product, but did we really expect it to be?

Dallas Cowboys v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

Knee-jerk Reactions are immediate responses to a situation without taking the time to analyze the situation. That’s something as sports fans that we typically do. Especially if you are a full blood Yinzer, or even just a part Yinzer. As is the custom, I compile my knee-jerk thoughts and publish them immediately after each Steelers game. It’s my version of running my mouth first and apologizing later. So with that being said, I’m going to employ that philosophy here during the Hall of Fame Game. Yes this is only a preseason game, but it's still football. Please bear with me as there will be plenty of plays that I have no idea who the guys are making the play.


1st Quarter

  • Great to hear all the cheers Coach Cowher got when they introduced him for the Hall of Fame. And it's awful that Troy Polamalu couldn't be there.
  • I had to look at Cliff Harris. I think Kevin would agree that he's still a punk.
  • Geez Louise between 2020 and 2021 they might have just made the whole thing Steelers. That would have been better anyway.
  • Rudolph was the lone captain. Steelers will receive the first quarter kickoff.
  • Starting off with a quick pass for 7 yards to Diontae Johnson.
  • Back-to-back plays with a Najee Harris run for six yards and then a catch as the check down back for three yards.
  • Steelers had a nice little drive going until Rudolph decides to fumble the ball. Recovered by the Cowboys. Let's go ahead and get this season kicked off like we were ending last season turning the ball over.
  • The defense leaves the tight end open for 15 yards on the Cowboys first play. Can I say I am already not impressed.
  • On 3rd & 7 the Cowboys took advantage of Robert Spillane in coverage and converted the first down and are now first and goal on the 5.
  • Highsmith!! What a spin, QB sack.
  • Almost picked the third down pass. Cowboys settle for a field goal. Cowboys 3 Steelers 0.
  • Najee with a 5-yard run on a play that did not look like it was blocked very well. Boy, have we missed that.
  • On 3rd & 3 Rudolph makes a nice pass to Claypool who I think was thinking touchdown and didn't secure the ball. What do you know there's a drop.
  • Pressley Harvin with his first punt for the Steelers, pins the Cowboys at the 10-yard line.
  • James Pierre gives up his second catch of the game. I was hoping and expecting to see a little more from him.
  • I'm looking at the defense right now and realizing that not only are there not many starters in there, but they are playing a very, very vanilla defense.
  • Ulysees Gilbert missed a tackle on 3rd & 12 to give up a first down.
  • End of the first quarter Cowboys 3 Steelers 0.

2nd Quarter

  • Second quarter starts with the Steelers defense giving up 17 yards on a pass to the fullback. Come on cover somebody.
  • On 3rd & 3 inside the 10-yard line Cassius Marsh with a strip sack but the Cowboys recovered.
  • Cowboys have a short field goal blocked by Tre Norwood, So the score remains Cowboys 3 Steelers 0.
  • Chase Claypool with a big catch on 3rd and 4, but now I'm worried because he is still down on the field. It looked like he might have landed hard on the ball.
  • The Steelers drive stalls, and Sam Sloman comes in to try a field goal. Missed it. Score still Cowboys 3 Steelers 0.
  • The defense gives up some yards and a couple first downs, but then they hold. Dallas has a 4th & 15 and look like they're going to go for it, but a time out first.
  • The Cowboys are going for it on 4th & 15 on the Steelers 40. The Steelers actually give up the first down, but the receiver fumbles and the Steelers recover.
  • Dwayne Haskins is in a quarterback. I know a lot of people are wanting to see what he can do.
  • Haskins made a few nice throws, he even threaded the window on third down but it was broken up. The Steelers to punt.
  • Big Press just hit a sand wedge down to the goal line and the Steelers down the ball inside the one.
  • Steelers look like they're playing prevent just trying to make the Cowboys run out the clock.
  • Isaiah Buggs with a stupid late hit penalty on the quarterback on 3rd & 4 when Dallas wasn't going to complete the pass.
  • Dallas attempts a 52-yard field goal, and it was so far off the ball might have gone clear off the TV screen.
  • That's the half, Cowboys 3 Steelers 0

3rd Quarter

  • Steelers kick off to start the second half. Special teams pin the Cowboys inside their own 20.
  • On third down and about 12, Quincy Roche gets in for the sack. Ring one up for Q from the U. Cowboys to punt.
  • Excellent return by Matthew Sexton. That's the kind of return I'd like to see more often.
  • Great offensive plays back to back. The first one a pass to Kevin Rader, and the second one an Anthony McFarland run for nine yards.
  • Kalen Ballage with a nice little run to get the Steelers inside the 5-yard line. First and goal.
  • Andrew Wilbar called that Ballage would get a touchdown here, and he was correct. Steelers punch it in and miss the extra point. Score is now Steeler 6 Cowboys 3.
  • Justin Layne gets called for pass interference. I think it was the first contact because the second contact was the receiver reaching back and holding him.
  • Donovan Steiner with the interception. Steelers get the ball back.
  • Third down and six and Haskins slips one out to Anthony McFarland who look like he will get the first down easy and instead of just getting it he slowed up to try to make a move on a guy and fell down. Come on man.
  • Steelers go for it on 4th and a yard, Ballage goes forward for the first down.
  • The drive stalls in the Steelers are attempting a field goal. These have been adventures so far. Sloman finally puts one through the uprights. Steelers 9 Cowboys 3.
  • When Kyle is here calling for a hold on that kickoff return it was nice to actually see the flag fly from the refs as they saw it as well.
  • The defense holds and forces a Dallas punt. Punt goes into the end zone the Steelers take over on their 20.
  • End of the third quarter Steelers 9 Cowboys 3.

4th Quarter

  • The Steelers drive stalls and they punt it back to the Cowboys. The Thicc Kick with a 51-yard punt.
  • The Cowboys decided to go for it on 4th and 1. Not sure who the players were but first we had a D lineman that held his lane so the quarterback couldn't run it. It was followed up on the back end by a nice play in the secondary to stop the Cowboys and get the ball back to the Steelers.
  • Boy doing this is really hard when you're not sure what all the numbers are on the players. It also doesn't help that Troy Aikman and Joe Buck don't know them either.
  • It's been nice to see the Steelers converting 3rd & 1 plays tonight with runs for first downs.
  • Josh Dobbs completes a touchdown pass with pressure right in his face to Tyler Simmons. Steelers taking a commanding lead halfway through the fourth quarter. Slomin hits the extra point. The score is now Steelers 16 Cowboys 3.
  • Dobbs showed a lot of composure on that drive as he had a lot of pressure on him on several of those plays including the touchdown pass.
  • The defense basically stops the Cowboys stone cold. Steelers will get the ball back.
  • The Steelers are giving Jaylen Samuels a chance to show that he still deserves a shot on this team. Three straight plays to him though did not net much. Thicc Kick with another punt that bounced off the return man and the Steelers recover. Jeff Hartman will be saying we should be putting Pressley Harvin in the Hall of Fame already.
  • On 3rd & 9 Dobbs completes to Anthony Johnson, who had also just recovered the fumble on the punt.
  • The Steelers go for it on 4th and 1 inside the 10-yard line, looks like Dobbs wanted to run it there but ended up having to throw and ball was incomplete.
  • Nice tackle to keep the Cowboys receiver inbounds there by some dude.
  • Game over. Steelers win 16-3. I know it's not the world's greatest football, but it was football and it was the Steelers.

There you have it, my knee jerks. Sure it was preseason and sure it didn’t see a lot of starters, but it was Steelers football so I will sit on this for a day or two and then look forward to next weeks pre-season game. CAN’T WAIT!!!