Sat, 08 Aug 2020

Countdown to 2020: The Cowboys

The Steelers
12 Jul 2020, 06:30 GMT+10

Date: Nov. 8

Time: 4:25 p.m.

Venue: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

All-Time Regular-Season Series: Cowboys lead, 16-13. The Steelers lead the all-time postseason series, 2-1 (the three postseason meetings occurred in Super Bowls X, XIII and XXX).

Last Meeting: RB Ezekiel Elliott's 32-yard touchdown run on first-and-10 from the Steelers' 32-yard line with 15 seconds left in regulation provided the final points in a wild, 35-30 Cowboys' victory on Nov. 13, 2016 at Heinz Field. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger threw for 408 yards and two TDs, with WR Antonio Brown accounting for 154 receiving yards on 14 catches, one for a touchdown. RB Le'Veon Bell had 134 yards from scrimmage (57 rushing, 77 receiving) and scored twice. But Elliott's third TD of the day (he also scored on an 83-yard pass and a 14-yard run) produced the fourth and final lead change of the fourth quarter.

Last Season: The Cowboys went 8-8 and finished second in the NFC East. Dallas ranked first in total offense (fifth rushing, second passing) and ninth in total defense (11th rushing, 10th passing).

Since Then: Mike McCarthy, a Super Bowl-winning head coach in Green Bay, has taken over for Jason Garrett. Oklahoma WR CeeDee Lamb was drafted 17th overall and Alabama CB Travon Diggs was taken on the second round (51st overall). Dallas added a pair of defensive linemen in unrestricted free agency (Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe, both from Carolina). C Travis Frederick, a First-Team All-Pro in 2016, retired after the 2019 season, his sixth in the NFL, and CB Byron Jones (taken 27th overall in 2015) departed via free agency (Miami). Former Bengals QB Andy Dalton has landed in Dallas as Dak Prescott's backup.

Headliners: Prescott completed 65.1 percent of his passes and threw for 4.902 yards (1,017 more than the career-high total he'd posted in 2018) and 30 touchdowns, with just 11 interceptions. Elliott was fourth in the NFLin rushing (1,357 yards) and second in yards from scrimmage (1,777). DE Robert Quinn had 11.5 sacks in 14 regular-season games.

Stat That Matters: The Cowboys were one of four teams to rank in the top 10 in offense and defense in 2019. The Ravens (No. 2 on offense, No. 4 on defense), the 49ers (No. 4, No. 2) and the Chargers (No. 10, No. 6) also finished in the top 10 in yards on both sides of the ball.

Memorable Meeting: All three Super Bowl matchups qualify, but then again most Steelers-Cowboys games qualify as worth remembering. The Steelers' 20-13 win on Dec. 7, 2008 at Heinz Field absolutely does. Down 13-3, the Steelers rallied for 17 points in the fourth quarter, including 14 in the final 2:04 of regulation. The game-winning touchdown was scored on a 25-yard pick-six by CB Deshea Townsend with 1:40 left in regulation. The interception was the third of the afternoon suffered by Cowboys QB Tony Romo and rewarded Steelers faithful who had braved conditions that including a temperature of 22 degrees and a wind chill of 8 degrees at kickoff.

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