Randy White was in Fort Worth Thursday shooting promos at a local production studio while yours truly was still in Ohio. Thankfully, I was able to send one of my colleagues, Bob Dubeansky, to get the Hall of Fame defensive tackle’s thoughts on the Cowboys’ match with Pittsburgh.
“Pittsburgh is not playing like the team that we’re used to seeing as the Pittsburgh Steelers,” White said. “They’re off a little bit this year, and I think it’s a great opportunity to beat ‘em, especially playing at home.”
The Steelers are currently 1-1 in December. The last time the Steelers started a December as poorly was in 2009 when they began 0-2 and missed the playoffs. All Pro safety Troy Polamalu has missed nine games, similar to 2009 and 2006, seasons where Pittsburgh missed the playoffs, and has yet to intercept a pass.
White outlined what the Cowboys have to do to beat Pittsburgh: “They got to play defense. They’ve got to pressure Ben Roethlisberger. I mean, that’s important.”
The two-time Super Bowl champion has missed three games and his starting record is 6-4. In those four losses, Steelers opponents have averaged over two sacks. Still, Roethlisberger has a respectable 98.6 passer rating.
Football is a team game, and the Cowboys offense must do its part to wrest victory.
“That offensive line has got to give Romo some time to operate back there,” White expounded. “If they can get the running game going, Demarco Murray is able to run the football, that team plays a lot better. Romo has a lot more success doing what he does.”
Demarco Murray has missed six games in 2012. In his absence the Cowboys went 3-3, and Romo had to throw 62 times to compensate for a running game averaging only 2.9 yards a carry. The Cowboys are 2-1 in games where Murray averages more than 4.0 yards a carry, with the lone loss being that Baltimore game caused by Garrett’s situational unawareness in the final 25 seconds.
Still, this Super Bowl XII co-MVP believes in Jason Garrett when many fans don’t.
“I’ve enjoyed watching them [Cowboys]. They come out every week prepared. Jason Garrett does a good job getting them prepared mentally and physically and they give it 100% for 60 minutes.”
“It’s going to be a team effort.”
It is going to be a team effort as these two 7-6 teams face off in a game with dramatic consequences in their respective conference’s wild card races. Though Sunday’s victor is not guaranteed a berth, a win would be a nice stocking stuffer.
For more from Randy White, listen to the entire interview below: