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I won’t be starting the Steelers defense against the Cowboys this week

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After years of yearning for the Steelers defense in fantasy football, I now have it. Only problem is, Pittsburgh’s defense, well, it’s not what it once was. Therefore, I can’t start it against the Cowboys this week.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Cleveland Browns Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

I play fantasy football, but unlike you, I do it for free because, well, I suck at it very much.

However, while I may suck at fantasy football, I know a lot about the NFL, and let me tell you something, I do not trust the Steelers defense enough to even start it in a free fantasy football league.

It’s actually news that I have Pittsburgh’s defense; way back in the day, when Coach Dad’s unit wreaked havoc all over the National Football League, and I was always starting out 0-4 in (insert fantasy season here), I would have given anything to own it. However, that rarely if ever happened, because another fantasy owner would usually snatch it up while I was worried about acquiring my second kicker (no wonder I never recouped a dime of my league dues).

But I actually managed to snag the Steelers defense in this year’s fantasy draft. Coming off the 48 sack/30 takeaway performance of a year ago, I was actually super-excited about what 2016 would bring for Keith Butler’s unit.

Yeah...about that.

After sacking the quarterback 48 times in 2015, Pittsburgh is on pace for 22 this year. After taking the football away 30 times last year, the Steelers are on track for 18 in 2016.

You know those highlights that involve defenders running into the end zone with football in-hand? The Steelers defense hasn’t been a part of any of those this year.

I’ll give you that Pittsburgh’s defense hasn’t been exactly horrible this year. Oh, at times it has (think Jay Ajayi), but it’s been relatively okay, giving up 21.4 points per game.

However, with the Cowboys coming to town this week with maybe the best offensive line in the NFL, rookie quarterback Dak Prescott, who only knows winning and has only been sacked 11 times, and rookie running back Ezekiel Elliot and his 891 rushing yards, there is no way I can even think about starting the Steelers defense.

If you want to turn me into the Steeler Nation police and have me brought up on charges, well, in my defense, I did keep receiver Markus Wheaton on my roster for like six games, and I still employ running back DeAngelo Williams.

So, what am I saying with all of this? Just that, it seems like only yesterday that the thought of Pittsburgh’s defense taking on Tony Romo and Co. inspired confidence, and today, I can’t erase the images of Prescott and Elliott carving it up for sixty minutes.

However, for you truly die-hard Steelers fans out there who probably hate my guts, my instincts are notoriously awful in fantasy football.

Therefore, you can expect a six-takeaway, six-sack, two-touchdown effort against the Cowboys this week.

You’re welcome.