Off of the temporary high of their emotional come from behind victory over the Cincinnati Bengals; the Dallas Cowboys are going through the low of a difficult week. The team held private services yesterday in memoriam of their fallen teammate, practice squad linebacker, Jerry Brown who died early Saturday morning in a car crash.
To make matters worse, the driver of the vehicle was fellow Cowboy teammate, Nose Tackle, Josh Price-Brent. He was unharmed in the accident but was allegedly over the legal limit of alcohol consumed when the crash occurred. Brent was released on $500,000 bail earlier in the week and may face serious jail time in his future.
At some point, the Cowboys will have the difficult task of focusing on this Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. This Steeler team is coming to Cowboy stadium with a 7-6 record, which is identical to that of the Cowboys. Although these two teams do not play each other very often, their series record tied at 15-15, they nonetheless have played in some of the most important games in NFL history. Namely, three Super Bowls in which the Steelers won two in the seventies and the Cowboys winning the last one in 1996 by a score of 27-17.
The Steelers lost this past week to the San Diego Chargers, despite the return of quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, from his month long shoulder and rib injury. They will be desperate for a victory to stay in the hunt for the final AFC wildcard spot. Defensively they are stingy; leading the league with an average of only 262 yards given up per game and only allowing opponents an average of 3.7 yards rushing per carry.
For the Cowboys to win, they will have to play with the same intensity and emotion as they did in last week’s game against the Bengals. It took a complete team effort to win against a well-balanced Bengal team on a four game winning streak. In many ways, the Cowboys looked overmatched on both sides of the ball, but they hung tough and somehow found a way to win.
For this game, they may very well find themselves in that same position; hanging in there for three quarters and trying to find a way to win late in the fourth. Whichever team wins the turnover battle will most likely win this game. So if the Cowboys are going to come out on top, quarterback Tony Romo will need to continue protecting the ball the way he has in the last few games.
As for the game of life, although the Cowboys have lacked dominance in their new home stadium; I am grateful they are home this week. When trying times are upon you, there truly is no place like home.