The Dallas Cowboys have won two straight after beating a good Cincinnati Bengals team last week on a last second field goal. They moved to 7-6 on the season and have a wining record for the first time since the opening win against the New York Giants. This week they play at home against a Pittsburgh Steelers team that is coming off an embarrassing loss to the lowly San Diego Chargers at Heinz Field where they are usually tough to beat. The Steelers need to win this game to stay in the AFC widcard race. Predictions from the SportDFW staff:
Nov 4, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor (24) intercept New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (not pictured) pass during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O
The Dallas Cowboys face the Pittsburgh Steelers in a game with one of the smallest point spreads this week. The Steelers are a one-point favorite, even though they are playing in Dallas at Cowboys Stadium. Both teams have a record of 7-6 and are looking to secure a playoff spot. Dallas WR Dez Bryant is still unsure of playing because of an injury to his hand; even if he does play, he may not be as effective as he has in recent weeks (7 touchdowns in the last five games). One of the Steelers starting cornerbacks, Ike Taylor, is questionable for the game.
This is a great time for the Cowboys to play a home game against Pittsburgh, as they are coming off a loss against the San Diego Chargers. The Cowboys are coming off two consecutive wins against the Philadelphia Eagles and the Cincinnati Bengals. The game should be very close, but I predict the Steelers will pull through over the Cowboys.
Pittsburgh Steelers 24 – Dallas Cowboys 20
December 9, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) pulls in a long pass against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Dallas won the game 20-19. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
I don’t know what kind of performance that was last week from the Steelers against the Chargers, but I can bet you practice wasn’t that pleasant this week. The Bengals beat the Eagles on Saturday, so the Steelers need to win this game to stay in the widcard hunt. The Cowboys have questions about Dez Bryant and his injured finger. He’ll play, but just how effective will he be? I won’t be surprised if either team wins this one.
Pittsburgh Steelers 23 – Dallas Cowboys 17
I want so bad to think that the Cowboys will win this week and keep us all hanging on to playoff hopes, but I don’t see that happening. Mike Tomlin will make sure the Steelers bring their A game after getting beat last week by a Chargers’ team that had nothing to play for. Pittsburgh QB Big Ben, after missing three games due to injury,will have another week under his belt, and RB Jonathan Dwyer should be able to pound the ball against the Cowboys front 7. Cowboys WR Dez Bryant will be somewhat of a question mark after breaking a finger last week; his pain tolerance and concentration will be put to the test. The game will be close and a big play on defense could change the tide for the Cowboys, but I see the Steelers winning this one.
Pittsburgh Steelers 23 – Dallas Cowboys 20
December 9, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) runs over Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins (97) at Paul Brown Stadium. Dallas won the game 20-19. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
C. Joseph Wright:
If you read my articles this week about the Steelers offense and trying to stop TE Heath Miller or the one about NT Casey Hampton, you would probably assume that I think the Steelers will beat the Dallas Cowboys. I do believe that Pittsburgh is a much better team than they looked like last week against the Chargers, but they are clearly not invincible. The biggest concern for Cowboys fans is whether the offense will be able to move the ball and score points on a very talented Steelers defense. Here are my predictions: TE Jason Witten will continue to play like an All-Pro and convert important 3rd downs; RB DeMarco Murray will make a few big plays, probably on short passes as opposed to runs; Tony Romo will continue to play like one of the best QB’s in the NFL and impress the world with his ability to evade pass-rushers; and the Cowboys will play good enough defense that they find a way to win.
Dallas Cowboys 21 – Pittsburgh Steelers 17