It’s “America’s Team” versus “The Steel Curtain”, a matchup with a lot of Super Bowl memories from the past.
Most of the Dallas Cowboys season has been looking to the future. Promising rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have led Dallas to a 7-1 record and a two game lead in the NFC East.
Sunday, however, featured a blast from the past. Tight end Jason Witten, starting in his team-record 155th straight game, hauled in 8 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown as the Cowboys trounced the Cleveland Browns 35-10.
“It was good to have one of those days,” said Witten. “We have a full group of guys that have bought into this system. As skill players each week it can move as to who has those opportunities.”
The Steelers fell flat Sunday against the rival Baltimore Ravens, losing 21-14 in Ben Roethlisberger’s first action since a knee injury on October 16th.
The Steelers trailed 13-0 through three quarters, and two fourth quarter touchdowns weren’t enough to overcome a shaky start. Running back Le’Veon Bell was held to 32 yards rushing, and Pro Bowl receiver Antonio Brown was held to 85 yards and a score.
Elliott and Bell provide something of a rarity in the NFL these days. Both running backs are featured on all three downs, and are known for their blocking as well as pass catching out of the backfield.
Elliot knows that the task at hand will be daunting on Sunday.
“They’ve got a lot of great players, they’re a great linebacker corps,” the Dallas back said Wednesday. “They can run, they can hit. I think it’s a great matchup for us, it’s going to be a good challenge.”
Roethlisberger is certainly more concerned about a Dallas defense that is only allowing 17.5 points per game.
“They’re just a solid defense, you’re not looking at exotic blitzes,” the former Super Bowl champ said. “They just line up and kick your butt.”
Big Ben says that the season Prescott is having reminds him of his own rookie campaign.
“He’s been awesome, very similar to what I had. He’s got a good running game and a great defense. He’s taking over games and doing some awesome stuff. It’s fun to watch.”
Prediction Time: The Steelers come roaring out of the gate with their season on the line and jump out to an early lead. The Dallas running game grinds the Steelers defense down and reels them in. Dallas scores enough on offense to overcome injuries in their secondary to get out of the Steel City with a 28-24 victory.