Tune in at 4:25 PM ET as the Steelers take on the Cowboys. Rob Sturney will be liveblogging for your enjoyment.
I'm Rob Sturney here with The Score's ongoing coverage of the NFL. Today we have a classic rivalry between two of the league's most storied teams. For this clash, both are on the outside looking in as far as the playoffs go. They're both on the cusp. The Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Arlington, Texas to play the Dallas Cowboys.
On Thursday, the Bengals won, relegating the Steelers to a spot outside Wild Card contention. Today, the Giants and Bears have already lost, while the Redskins and Vikings are leading late. There might be a logjam of teams at 8-6 in the NFC after today.
The good news for the Cowboys is that DEZ BRYANT IS PLAYING TODAY. He'll wait until the end of the season to get finger surgery for a tricky break. He'll play on the left side of the formation to protect that finger on his dominant left hand.
The Steelers have offensive guard Colon out for the season. De Castro, a rookie, has had a bad knee all season, but he'll most likely start at left guard. Receivers Brown and Sanders, cornerbacks Lewis and Cortez Allen and linebacker Woodley are all carrying "knocks" as they say in soccer.
I'll do my best, Konan. Try not to tackle or block anyone!
Yes, Austin will have to step up. I expect Ogletree to get more passes.
What are the keys to victory today? For the Steelers, they've got to establish the run - they only had 69 yards rushing versus the Chargers. They've got to stop the turnovers - 16 in the last four games, three of which were losses. Then they've got to stop the Cowboys from making 3rd down conversions. Dallas is making 45% of 3rd down conversions, which is second in the league. San Diego converted 12 of 22 3rd downs, 11 via the air.
The Cowboys have won the last 4 of 5. They are 2-0 in December with Romo at the pivot for the first time. They will, as someone already commented, have to set up the league's 3rd best passing game with some Murray, Jones and Dunbar rushes.
You mean Robbie Three Sticks? Could be.
For the sporting gentlemen and ladies out there, the last I saw, the over/under was 44.5.
As someone pointed out tonight on a morning preview show, Big Ben usually doesn't have two lousy games in a row, and the Steelers play up to their competition, having trouble with weaker teams.
Yes, I was remiss in not mentioning that the Cowboys beat the Bengals 20-19 last week in an emotional win, while the Steelers lost to the San Diego Chargers in Roethlisberger's return.
The Cowboys have New Orleans at home and Washington away in their remaining regular season games. The Steelers have Cincy and Cleveland at hom.e
He's having a very good season: last week he had 11 tackles and 2 sacks for 76 tackles and 8.5 sacks on the year. The Steelers must be wary of Ware, of course.
I'm pleased to say that I'm watching this game in HD on a large television. Thanks to my brother Sean for the wicked early Christmas gift.
Good news for you Mendenhall fans. He's slowly making his way out of the doghouse. He's even been talking with the Steelers organization about a contract extension. However, he's still behind Dwyer and Redman and Rainey in the depth chart.
That was fortuitous. Three losses on the trot now? Oh, boy.
The Steelers are in their black jerseys and gold pants. Cowboys sport their silver-blue trousers and white jerseys. Steelers will receive. Rainey averages 26.1 yards a kickoff return, but he'll be a spectator for Bailey's kickoff.
PIT 1st and 10 (PIT 20): Dwyer rumbles to six yards to start us off.
Big Ben looked for Wallace but Carr knocked it down.
PIT 3d and 4 (PIT 26): Ben in the shotgun. He picks Brown on the left sideline for the first down.