The Dallas Cowboys lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers tonight, despite one of the best games for the Cowboys defense all year.
The Cowboys matched the NFL’s top ranked defense all game, but in the end, it was the Steelers who came up with a huge defensive play to pull out a surprising win after it appeared the Cowboys had the game wrapped up.
The Cowboys sacked Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger five times and put pressure on him all game. The Cowboys defense even held the Steelers on fourth and goal to keep a 13-3 lead, but the Steelers fought back and scored a touchdown with 2:10 left.
That gave the Cowboys and quarterback Tony Romo two minutes to win the game. But Romo threw his third interception of the game to DeShea Townsend, who scored the game-winning touchdown. Cowboys tight end Jason Witten appeared to take the blame for the interception because he ran the wrong route. Who knows what happened, but Romo’s passes were off all game. On the last interception, it appeared Romo threw it from his hip. Romo finished 19-36, for 210 yards and three interceptions.
The loss was heart breaking for the Cowboys and fans. Not only did the defense play incredibly well, but so did rookie running back Tashard Choice, who ran for more yards against the Steelers defense than any back to date this season.
On the Cowboys only touchdown score, Choice had two huge runs that helped the Cowboys score on a pass to Terrell Owens deep in the endzone. Even that pass from Romo appeared off and Owens made a good catch.
The Cowboys had five turnovers and a host of injuries throughout the game. Witten left for almost a quarter with a bad ankle. The Cowboys had five players injured throughout the game.
At the podium, head coach Wade Phillips was devestated.
“I thought our defense played outstanding, but we just didn’t get it done,” Phillips said. “In the crunch time we had a lead, we had opportunities and we didnt take advantage of them. I was proud of our effort but certainly not the results”
Phillips said he has no idea what happened in the final interception with Romo and Witten. Phillips said he thought Romo had a “rough” game.
“It’s a tough loss for us. I do know we are still in there and we can still fight but we are going to have to come back and beat an even better team next week.”
The Cowboys face the New York Giants, who lose to the Philadelphia Eagles today. Do you see the Giants losing twice in a row? What a mountain the Cowboys have to climb this coming week.
Phillips mentioned the big pass play on 3rd and 16 that the Cowboys gave up, just rare poor coverage from Terence Newman.
On the entire fourth quarter touchdown drive for the Steelers, the Cowboys looked confused during the Steelers’ two-minute defense. Phillips did not address that at all.
The game started off real sloppy with several turnovers from both teams. At halftime, the game was tied 3-3. In the second half, the Cowboys came out strong and the defense bullied the Steelers. Phillips said in the 3-1 Cowboys wins streak, the Cowboys defense has played really well. He wouldn’t say that was the best game he saw.
Terrell Owens said the Cowboys had too many costly errors.
“Our defense played great, they played their butts off and we didn’t give them help at all,” Owens said.
Owens said he has no idea what happened in the interception between Romo and Witten. Of course, he said he was open when he came out of his route.
“I had pretty much one on one on my side and I ran my route. When I turned around to come out of my break the guy was intercepting the ball and going the other way.”
The press focused on the interception play, and Owens kept on saying he was in one on one coverage and open.
“He threw the ball elsewhere. I can’t do anything but run my route.”
Owens said the defense gave the Cowboys a chance to win and made huge plays.
“I feel like we lost the game on offense. There is no excuse for it. In a situation like that we cannot make critical turnovers.”
You know, I’d love to see Owens be a quarterback. I am not protecting Romo, because he looked rough out there today, but executing every play has got to be hard.
The Cowboys are still in the playoff hunt, thanks to the New Orleans Saints defeating the Atlanta Falcons. But a Redskins win could send the Cowboys back on the outside looking in.