The Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys, two of the most storied franchises in NFL history, went head-to-head at Heinz Field in Week 10 NFL action, and it was certainly the case of two teams headed in different directions.
Pittsburgh came into the game 4-4, losers of three straight, while Dallas was one of the hottest teams winning 7 in a row to a 7-1 record and first place in the competitive NFC East. Nonetheless, this nationally televised game would be well worth the price of admission.
The Steelers won the opening coin toss, and elected to defer. On the Cowboys opening drive Ryan Shazier disrupted Dak Prescott’s drop back, and Anthony Chickillo caught up to the rookie quarterback to cause a fumble which Shazier recovered. Ben Roethlisberger spent little time moving the ball into the endzone with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Le’Veon Bell. However, Pittsburgh went for the two-point conversion and failed, giving them an early 6-0 lead.
The Cowboys answered quickly on their next possession, but the Pittsburgh defense stiffened when it matters and it resulted in a Dan Bailey field goal to cut into the Steelers lead, 6-3 with 5:17 left in the first quarter.
Pittsburgh certainly showed up with their ‘A-game’ and moved the ball with ease on their next possession, which resulted in a 5-yard touchdown pass to Eli Rogers on third down. Mike Tomlin would again go for the two-point conversion, and fail, giving the Steelers a 12-3 lead.
With Dallas facing a 1st and 25 deep in their own territory, Prescott hit Ezekiel Elliot n a screen pass for an 83-yard touchdown. The Bailey point after narrowed the Pittsburgh lead to 12-10 at the end of the first quarter.
After a three-and-out, Dallas took their first possession of the second quarter, and turned it into their first lead of the game. A 53-yard Bailey field goal gave Dallas a 13-12 lead early in the second quarter. However, Pittsburgh would answer the Dallas field goal with a Chris Boswell 39-yard field goal to re-take the lead 15-13, and the score would carry into halftime.
To start the second half, a big play from Roethlisberger to Cobi Hamilton moved Pittsburgh into Dallas territory. A pass interference call on Dallas gave Pittsburgh the ball on the 7-yard line, but three straight incomplete Roethlisberger passes made the Steelers settle for a chip shot Boswell field goal, extending their lead 18-13.
On their first drive of the second half, Dak Prescott orchestrated a time-consuming drive which ended in another Dan Bailey field goal, this from 46-yards, to cut into the Pittsburgh lead making the score 18-16.
After another Pittsburgh three-and-out, Dallas was faced with a 3rd and 11 at midfield, and Dez Bryant was able to beat rookie Artie Burns for a 50-yard touchdown catch to give the Cowboys a 23-18 lead with 1:35 left in the 3rd quarter.
The Pittsburgh defense, desperately needing a spark, stopped Elliott on 3rd and 1, and forced a punt. Antonio Brown returned the punt 22-yards to set up the Steelers on the next drive. After several plays to Brown, it was Le’Veon Bell scoring the go-ahead touchdown from one-yard out. With the need to go for the two-point conversion, the Steelers failed for the third time making the score 24-23 with 7:51 left in the 4th quarter.
Dallas would use up over 5 minutes in the 4th quarter to put more points on the board. Elliott would score easily off the right side, and the Cowboys would go for the two-point try to get a 7-point lead. Prescott’s throw to Bryant fell incomplete, giving Pittsburgh the ball back with 1:55 left, two timeouts and down 29-24.
Ben Roethlisberger and the offense would take over at their 25-yard line, and big pass plays to Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown would move the ball into Dallas territory. Inside a minute, Roethlisberger faked the spike to stop the clock and his Brown in the endzone for the go-ahead touchdown. Another failed two-point conversion gave Pittsburgh a 30-29 lead with 42 seconds left in the game.
With all three timeouts available, Prescott and the Cowboys did their job by taking the ball 75 yards, capped off with another Elliott touchdown to seal the win for Dallas.
The win gave Dallas their 8th win in a row, and the Steelers’ their 4th loss in a row. Pittsburgh will travel to play the winless Cleveland Browns in Week 11.