Regular season matchup for NFL royalty: Steelers-Cowboys always play a meaningful gameBy Ashley Powell
Don't look now, but it's time for two of the NFL's signature franchises to renew acquaintances.
The Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers meet once every four years but it's a fierce rivalry dating back to the days of Dallas’ Doomsday Defense and Pittsburgh’s Steel Curtain of the 1970s. The series is deadlocked at 15-15.
The Cowboys and Steelers have also faced each other in three Super Bowls - X, XIII and XXX - with Pittsburgh winning two of those championships. It will be up to Dallas on Sunday to further establish who is America's Team.
Heat is on
Dallas is coming off an emotional come-from-behind victory over the Cincinnati Bengals 20-19 on a last second field goal by kicker Dan Bailey. The team was grieving the loss of defensive end Jerry Brown Jr. who died in a car accident.
The fans in Pittsburgh are still scratching their heads over the team’s 34-24 loss to the floundering San Diego Chargers last week. Both teams with 7-6 records are fighting to stay in playoff contention.
Romo vs. Roethlisberger
Cowboys’ Tony Romo is deemed a heartbreaker both on and off the field. If there were ever a player to take one’s emotion on a rollercoaster ride, it’s the quarterback.
Romo has been up and down this season, but most recently have engineered back-to-back wins throwing for 571 yards and four touchdowns with one interception in his last two games. Although he’s thriving, Pittsburgh coming to town won’t be a great confidence booster.
Romo performed miserably the last time he faced the Steelers defense. He was 19 of 36 for 210 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. To add insult to injury, the quarterback could be without deep-threat receiver Dez Bryant, who fractured his finger in last week’s matchup in Cincinnati and will be a game-time decision.
Keep in mind, Romo’s gunslinger and never say die mentality has paid off for the team this season. He notched his 17th career comeback win against the Bengals which is a club-best.
Like the Tin Man, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was a little rusty and in need of oil in his return to the lineup against San Diego. He missed three games due to a shoulder injury. Roethlisberger completed 22 of 42 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.
Big Ben is 3-0 against Dallas in the regular season and has never thrown an interception against the team. He threw for 204 yards, one touchdown, one fumble and sacked five times in their last meeting.
Pittsburgh’s offense rest firmly on the shoulders of Roethlisberger and will go only as far as he takes them. The struggling offensive line must protect Roethlisberger from the blood hounds pass rushers DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer who have a combined 18.5 sacks.
The overall edge in this matchup goes to Dallas at home.