Steelers narrowly hang on to defeat the Dallas Cowboys in Week 9

Dallas Cowboys Tony Pollard (20) Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joe Haden (23) Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Cowboys Tony Pollard (20) Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joe Haden (23) Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

The Steelers were forced to make a fourth-quarter comeback against the Dallas Cowboys. Here’s a recap from the game.

I don’t remember the last game that was this frustrating to watch. With the Steelers perfect record on the line, Pittsburgh was outmanned in nearly every way by the Dallas Cowboys in Week 9. Fortunately, Mike Tomlin’s team was able to hang on for the win. But it wasn’t pretty.

Despite playing a 2-6 football team that was down to their fourth quarterback this season, the Steelers really struggled in this contest. They surrendered the first points and didn’t regain the lead again until late in the fourth quarter.

Through the first three-quarters of the game, the Steelers had allowed 19 points to the Cowboys while scoring just 9 – all of which came in the second quarter. Somehow, a Ben Roethlisberger-led offense was able to take the lead with just 2:14 remaining in the game. Remarkably, Dallas had two more drives after this and the game came down to a throw in the front of the endzone that was once again deflected by Minkah Fitzpatrick. The Steelers held on to win 24-19.

What went wrong for the Steelers

Pittsburgh looked sluggish – by every definition of the word. They had just 9 points entering the fourth quarter and their defense was gashed for 144 yards on the ground (4.6 yards per carry). In addition, the special teams was pathetic, as the coverage team allowed both a 64-yard kick return and a 73-yard punt return.

The Cowboys actually earned more offensive plays, more total yards, more time of possession, and three times as many rushing yards as the Steelers in Week 9. But despite all of their shortcomings, Pittsburgh was able to find a way to win.

Though the offense was atrocious in the first half, Roethlisberger finally got things going late in the game, as his unit scored 15 fourth-quarter points. The defense finally showed up to play in the second half as well. They surrendered 6 points in the third quarter and didn’t allow any points in the fourth.

While it’s extremely hard to complain when your team is 8-0, we have to ask: Why did the Steelers come out so flat in this contest?

In each of the past three years, Pittsburgh has put up dud performances against losing-record opponents like the Jets (2019), Raiders (2018), and Bears (2017). Entering Week 9, the Cowboys were an injury-struck team who was playing without their star quarterback and both starting offensive tackles.

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At the end of the day, a win is a win, and Pittsburgh is sure thankful that they were able to pull this one out. However, it wasn’t pretty at all. The Steelers will need to get back to the drawing board right away and figure out why they struggle so much against one of the NFL’s worst teams this year.