The Steelers got the ball first in overtime in Dallas, but they didn’t hold onto it long.
Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr stepped in front of a Ben Roethlisberger pass on the second play of overtime and returned it to the one-yard line. The Cowboys moved the ball into the middle of the field and let Dan Bailey kick a 20-yard field goal to win the game 27-24 and make the NFC East even knottier with two weeks to play.
The Redskins won and the Giants lost, leaving all three teams with 8-6 records heading into Week 15. With a Week 17 date with the Redskins and a tiebreaker edge on the Giants, the Cowboys can win the division if they win their last two games. Not a bad time to put together your first three-game win streak of the season.
Things looked like they were going to go against the Cowboys when they were down 24-17 in the fourth quarter and had a drive stall. Antonio Brown fumbled at the end of his punt return, though, and the Cowboys tied the game with their second life. After a strange end of game sequence that saw the Cowboys seem to flirt with a 62-yard field goal (or perhaps just force the Steelers to take a timeout) and the Steelers opt to take a knee at their own 20 with 25 seconds and one timeout left, the game went to overtime and Carr made the kind of play that the Cowboys brought him to Dallas to make.
It was the end of a good day for a battered Cowboys defense. They lost linebacker Ernie Sims to a concussion and DeMarcus Ware was clearly less than 100 percent, but they came up with big sacks to end a pair of late Steelers drives and, of course, came up with the big play in overtime.
Roethlisberger wound up 24-of-40 for 339 yards and two touchdowns on the game, numbers that Tony Romo bettered. He was 30-of-42 for 341 yards and two scores, including a 24-yard strike to Dez Bryant that ended a third quarter drive that saw Romo go 7-for-7 for 89 yards. DeMarco Murray chipped in 81 rushing yards and a touchdown, balancing out a fumble near the Steeler end zone in the first half, and Dez Bryant managed four catches for 59 yards despite a finger injury that was definitely limiting him.
The Steelers running game never got going Sunday and the Cowboys were able to find mismatches in the passing game all day, which helped the Steelers to a second straight loss and clinched a playoff berth for the Ravens. At 7-7, the Steelers are now a game behind the Bengals in the fight for a Wild Card spot as the teams prepare to play at Heinz Field next weekend. It goes without saying that making the playoffs isn’t going to happen if the Steelers lose that one too.