09 November 2020 02:49
This is why they play the games, as evidenced in how the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers found themselves barely surviving a back alley brawl with the Dallas Cowboys--walking away with a narrow 24-19 victory in Arlington, Texas. Despite entering as 14.5-point underdogs to the mighty Steelers, the Cowboys mostly shut down an opponent they were predicted to lay down and die to. Instead, having been named starter just one day prior, Garrett Gilbert (overall) showed an ability to deliver both the timely dime and so much-needed escapability--out-producing both Ben Roethlisberger and the entire Steelers running back unit in the first half. Things began to come apart for him in the second half, however, while they did the exact opposite for Roethlisberger, but it's his defense he can mostly thank for the win, particularly safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. Surprisingly enough, it was also the usually beleaguered Cowboys defense showing out as well for much of the game, if not for back-breaking penalties in the fourth quarter that helped push the Steelers to victory in a game that went from being an expected blowout to one of the best games of Week 9.
Gilbert was both impressive and not so much, as the Steelers walked away with both an 8-0 record and some humility--having nearly been the victim of the biggest upset of 2020. Catch all the highlights and more from the nail biter at AT&T Stadium in the live blog below. JuJu Smith Schuster scored a big fourth-quarter touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. He did not celebrate in the end zone. The Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver stood up immediately after the score and made a beeline toward midfield with the ball in tow.
But Woods, a 318-pound defensive tackle, flanked him as he started to run again. Smith-Schuster decided to veer off to join some of his teammates as Gregory got flagged for unnecessary roughness for the post-play contact. Here's a wider angle of the Cowboys defenders apparently attempting to defend their turf from excessive celebration. JUJU WAS TRYING TO GO TO THE STAR LMAOOOOO pic.twitter.com/nGKl1WsvaS —. (@FTBBurner11) November 8, 2020 Smith-Schuster appeared to have his sights set on the midfield star, a la Terrell Owens. He didn't make it as far as Owens did in 2000 in one of the most infamous celebrations in NFL history. He also didn't suffer the same fate Owens did when George Teague leveled him mid-celebration. JuJu wanted to do the TO celebration on the star, but the cowboys wouldn't let him. Here's a vid of George Teague becoming a Cowboys legend for defending the star from TO. pic.twitter.com/GHclgatYVK — Joe DiTullio (@DiTullioJoe) November 8, 2020 The Cowboys' post-play defense was a success. Dallas fans would probably prefer to see that kind of effort before the score. The NFL's last undefeated team barely made it out of Dallas alive on Sunday afternoon. Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers, after trailing most of the contest, snuck out of AT&T Stadium with a 24-19 win against the Cowboys thanks to a late touchdown and key stop in the final minutes. Garrett Gilbert, Cowboys surge early Things have been rough for the Cowboys since they lost Dak Prescott to a gruesome ankle injury last month, to say the least. The team has cycled through replacement quarterbacks ever since, briefly using Andy Dalton — who was sidelined due to a concussion — and rookie Ben DiNucci — who couldn't get things going in their loss to the Eagles last week. Finally, it seemed that Gilbert might be the answer. The former SMU standout was signed by the Cowboys last month, which marked his seventh team in the league since he was selected by the St. Louis Rams in 2014. Headed into Sunday, however, the 29-year-old had played in just six games and attempted only six total passes. Despite his inexperience, Gilbert got the Cowboys off to a 10-0 lead — thanks largely to a perfect 20-yard touchdown pass to CeeDee Lamb early in the second quarter. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers rally late That, though, is when the Steelers finally kicked it into gear. Roethlisberger found James Washington for a 17-yard touchdown late in the second quarter, which set up a quick 9-0 run to close out the half — Pittsburgh kicker Chris Boswell missed the extra point after that score. Then, after holding Dallas to a pair of field goals in the third, Roethlisberger found a wide open Juju Smith-Schuster for a 30-yard touchdown to open the fourth quarter and bring them back within four — as Boswell's extra point was then blocked. Dallas running back Rico Dowdle came up with a massive 64-yard kick return, setting up what looked like a drive to keep the Cowboys in control. Gilbert, however, was picked off in the end zone by Minkah Fitzpatrick — which led to an 11-play, 55 yard drive capped with a field goal to bring them within one. After quickly stopping the Cowboys to get the ball back, Roethlisberger connected with Dionte Johnson for 42 yards and then found Eric Ebron for an 8-yard score — giving Pittsburgh its first lead of the game with just 2:14 left on the clock. Gilbert nearly pulled off an incredible game-winning drive in the final seconds, connecting with Lamb for a 32-yard gain and then with Michael Gallup for another 20 yards to bring them into position. His final attempt, however, was knocked down by Fitzpatrick to seal the five-point win for the Steelers. Roethlisberger finished the day throwing 29-of-42 for 306 yards and three touchdowns. Gilbert went 21-of-38 through the air for 243 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Tony Pollard led Dallas on the ground, racking up 57 yards on nine carries. Thanks to a fourth quarter comeback, the Steelers fended off Garrett Gilbert and the Cowboys on Sunday afternoon. (AP/Ron Jenkins) More More from Yahoo Sports: