Steelers Postgame Commentary: Week 9 vs Cowboys
By COMON Network Team
Final Score – Pittsburgh Steelers (8-0) 24 def. Dallas Cowboys (2-7) 19
The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Dallas Cowboys Sunday to move to 8-0 and with it, have become the first team in franchise history to do so.
Dallas scored the first 13 points of the game, starting with Greg Zuerlein’s 38-yard field goal with 3:55 to play in the first quarter. CeeDee Lamb caught a 20-yard pass from Garrett Gillbert with 7:45 to play in the second to extend the lead to 10-0. Zuerlein hit from 44 after that with about 3:46 to play in the first half.
Pittsburgh got on the board twice in the final 1:10 of the half, starting with James Washington grabbing a 17-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger. Then, as time expired, Chris Boswell set a franchise record by blasting a 59-yard field goal to make it 13-9 at the half, after he had missed the point after the Washington TD.
Zuerlein hit two field goals in the third quarter, then the Steelers’ comeback began. JuJu Smith-Schuster fought his way to the goal line on a 31-yard pass from Roethlisberger. Boswell’s PAT was blocked. Boswell then connected from 43 with 7:11 left. Eric Ebron scored an 8-yard touchdown from Ben with 2:14 left and the Steelers made two stops to hold on and win.
The Steelers now play Cincinnati for the first time this year next week, as they try to go to 9-0.
COMON Network Team Commentary
- Kick the football. I’m probably in the minority and I don’t care. Up five with minutes to go and a chance to go up eight — you take it. Every time. The Steelers didn’t. Instead they called a stretch. It failed. The Steelers then had to sweat it out for the last 90 seconds as Dallas drove down the field and had a chance as time expired. A win is a win but some bad decisions came with it.
- Ugly special teams day. With the exception of Jordan Berry, who had one of his best days kicking a football and Chris Boswell nailing a franchise-long 59-yard field goal, the special teams group had a forgettable day. The Cowboys nearly won the game through a long punt return, a long kick return, a blocked extra point and a missed extra point. Danny Smith needs to button up for next week.
- Should’ve known. The Steelers are good for one of these and everyone knew it was bound to happen. Although they were up on the scoreboard when time hit zero, it was a nail biter. Coming into Sunday, the Steelers under Mike Tomlin were 5-7 following games in Baltimore. It’s a place that just takes so much out of them and it led to the question — would Dallas hang around? They did and almost won. Good thing they didn’t.
Player of the Game – Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)
- Ben Roethlisberger should be in the MVP conversation. It took a while to get going against a bad team today, but the bottom line with Big Ben is, when push comes to shove, he gets the job done. He’s completed 68% of his passes for 1,628 yards, 15 TD and 4 picks, with three of them coming against the Titans. Two of those weren’t a big deal. The biggest difference between this year and last year is competent QB play. And he had to will this team back today. He’s not sparkling or dazzling but if we are talking most VALUABLE, it’s Ben. I’m not sure it’s close.
- The Steelers’ run defense wasn’t good enough again. 141 yards, 4.6 a carry. 57 yards to Tony Pollard including two big carries… what? Much better against Zeke, but overall, not good enough. And to only have two sacks today isn’t great, but I won’t moan about that. The defense overall kept them in the game today.
- I don’t understand not kicking the football at the end to make it an 8-point game. At all. And if you’re not going to kick it, don’t run a damn stretch. What the hell is up with NFL teams and doing that? I think the run was a counter and that takes way too long to develop. Just stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid. The worst-case scenario if you kick the field goal is overtime. Kick the ball. And I understand it’s easy to say that in hindsight, but even if they got the first, I’d still be bitching about the decision.
- JuJu was excellent. Couple of big catches and six for 93 in total and a score that was an awesome individual effort.
- In the end, a win is a win. Great teams find a way. They found a way today. That’s all.
Player of the Game – Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)
- The Steelers now identify as a team that grinds it out. If the Tennessee and Baltimore wins didn’t prove that, today’s game did. For a franchise that for years has been dogged for lacking grit, that’s a hell of a thing to accomplish
- I think it’s fair to say that the “Tomlin trap” is still a thing. This game had every trap element, aside from the final score. The Steelers won, but they came out flat. Luckily it didn’t burn them. I’m giving my game ball to Garrett Gilbert. In his first start, facing a star studded defense with minimal help from Zeke Elliot, Gilbert showed balls by almost engineering a win. He doesn’t have much of a future in the NFL, but he did his job well.
Player of the Game – Garrett Gilbert (DAL)