Cowboys show perseverance in five-point loss to Steelers

Garrett Gilbert, Dallas Cowboys (Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)
Garrett Gilbert, Dallas Cowboys (Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Dallas Cowboys narrowly lost to the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers

When the 2-6 Dallas Cowboys took on the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers in their Week Nine matchup on Sunday, their starting quarterback was Garrett Gilbert. He was the fourth different starting passer in the last five games for Dallas. It was also the 29-year old Gilbert’s first career NFL start.

All season long, the Cowboys’ defense has struggled. But lining up against an explosive Steelers’ offense, Dallas didn’t give up points on their first three drives.

Offensively, the Cowboys scored 13 points in the first half. That’s the most points scored in an entire game in the last three weeks. Gilbert’s 20-yard scoring pass to rookie wide receiver CeeDee Lamb midway through the second quarter was the first touchdown Dallas had scored in 24 drives.

The defensive line came alive for the Cowboys in the first half, with all four starters making noticeable impacts. They also appeared to injury Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s left knee, which did not negatively impact his play.

After missing a field goal to end the half, Pittsburgh had the chance to kick it again due to a false start penalty. The second time around, kicker Chris Boswell made it from 59 yards, a franchise record.

At halftime, the Dallas Cowboys led the Steelers 13-9

In the second half, Dallas finished their first two drives with points. They were field goals from 45 and 39 yards, respectively. Their third drive was promising for a touchdown, but Gilbert threw an interception in the endzone.

Defensively, the Cowboys remained solid. They did give up a touchdown on the Steelers’ second drive, but they also forced a punt.

The Cowboys started a comeback drive with 2:14 left in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, the Steelers’ defensive line stepped up. They were constantly in Gilbert’s face and sacked him on fourth down.

A last-minute effort for Dallas was on a drive to march 81 yards with only 43 seconds and no timeouts. A pass in the endzone was thrown incomplete, and the game ended with another Dallas loss, their fourth-straight defeat.

FINAL SCORE: Pittsburgh Steelers 24, Dallas Cowboys 19

Gilbert completed 21 of his 38 passes for 243 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Running back Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 51 yards on 18 carries. Lamb had four receptions for 71 yards and a score. The Dallas defense failed to record a single sack or turnover against the Steelers.

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On a positive note, the Cowboys’ special teams were great on Sunday. An amazing Cedrick WilsonC.J. Goodwin punt return went for 83 yards, and Rico Dowdle returned a kickoff for 64 yards. Defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford also blocked an extra point attempt.

The Dallas Cowboys have their bye next week and will return to play the Minnesota Vikings in Week 11.