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Old 12-02-2008, 07:36 PM   #1
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Default Pittsburgh Can Dominate Wounded Dallas

Steelers-Cowboys: Pittsburgh Can Dominate Wounded Dallas
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/8...l_results#poll
by Leo Hayes (Contributor)

December 02, 2008

Big Ben Roethlisberger said Sunday evening after beating the Patriots that he doesn't look ahead in the schedule, so we are going to do that for him.

The Steelers have a tough schedule coming up, all but one of their opponents have winning records and two of the four are division rivals. Of the remaining four opponents there are two of the top five defenses, one of the most explosive offenses, and one bad team whose coach only keeps his job with a miracle finish (something tells me that means beating the Steelers more than winning out).

Most of the teams in the NFL would be worried going into this stretch when more wins are needed to guarantee a playoff spot. The Steelers are not, and need not, be one of those teams.

This week we will look at the Cowboys. Tony Romo is an over-hyped quarterback who still likely has a lingering injury to his throwing hand. This will not be a good thing to have against the Steelers who will hit him hard and often. He has not done well against a consistent pass rush, and quarterbacks do not have good days when they play Pittsburgh.

The Cowboys do, however have some very talented receivers on offense. This, however did not help New England who had one of the best of all time on their team dropping balls because he was afraid to get wrecked as he landed. Terrel Owens also does not match-up well against the Steelers, with his last game against the Black and Gold coming back in 2004 when his Eagles were demolished 27-3. He did not contribute significantly to his team's three points.

The running game of the Cowboys will have to face the NFL's best defense in all major categories, allowing only 71.2 rushing yards per game. With a running back coming off of an injury in week 13, this is not a good match-up for the Cowboys.

The Cowboys also have to come to Pittsburgh, to the cold, snow, and ice to play the Steelers in "Steeler Weather." This will make passing all the more difficult, likely resulting in either the Cowboys becoming more one-dimensional toward the run, or becoming indecisive with passes as more of them are dropped and more difficult to throw. This indecision will result in sacks. Sacks will cause more indecision. You can see where I am going with this.

If the Steelers defense shows up, as it does week in and week out, the Cowboys will need to be perfect if they hope to win, and in Pittsburgh in December, perfection is highly improbable, if not impossible.

The Steelers offensive line also showed signs of improving last week against an admittedly weak New England defense. If the line can remain consistent, or improve further, and the Steelers keep their running game going, it will create problems for a Dallas defense who have suffered several key injuries this year; a defense that has allowed 260 points this season, 90 more than the Steelers top ranked defense.

The Cowboys with Romo have had troubles in big games, especially those in December and into the playoffs. All four of the Cowboys' losses this years have also come when they have scored fewer than 28 points. No team has scored more than 24 points against the Steelers' defense.

This game will come down to a few key factors.


First whether or not injured Cowboys players, including Barber, Ware, and Romo can play at their normal level.

Second: how the Cowboys react to the exotic looks and intense pass rush of the Steelers defense.

Thirdly, if the Steelers offense can continue to get back on track and perform at their top level with injuries to some of their key players including Roethlisberger, Parker, Miller, and the offensive line in general.

The Steelers will win this game 28-7.

As an interesting side note, the Steelers were able to hold the Patriots to 1-of-13 on third downs. The Patriots were, before last week, in the top ten in that category. If the Steelers' defense can have another performance near that level, the game will become very winnable.

Winning this game will put the Steelers in good position for the playoff race this year, and with Baltimore playing a difficult game against the Redskins it may provide the chance for a comfortable two game lead in the AFC North.



Dallas Cowboys' Strategy Against the Pittsburgh Steelers


by Alan Carter (Contributor)

December 01, 2008

Offense

The Cowboys donít need the run to pass the ball but it would greatly help against the sack leaders of the NFL. Marion Barber might be out with a injured foot. If Barber canít play, rookie Tashard Choice will start.

Choice had consecutive 1,300 yard seasons at Georgia Tech. Barber will be missed most of all in the pass blocking. Look for the Cowboys to use a lot of two-tight-end sets to help with the Pittsburgh linebackers.

Leonard Davis can match up against Pro-Bowl nose tackle Casey Hampton. If Davis can keep Hampton from taking on double teams, the Cowboys will be able to run the ball.

Jason Witten looks to be an important part of the piece but will go against Troy Polamalu, one of the best safeties in the league. Martellus Bennett has shown Tony Romo that he is a worthy option.

Romo must extend the play just that extra second that he does so well at. Romo has only been sacked eight times on the season. If Romo can avoid the rush, he should see big things downfield.

Owens will definitely get a safety over top, so look for Roy Williams to play a larger role. He should garner single coverage most of the day and has the skill set to take advantage.

Defense

The Cowboys are second in sacks, only two behind Pittsburgh. DeMarcus Ware is expected to play and now leads the NFL with 15 sacks.

The Steelers have struggled with protecting Ben Roethlisberger and it has shown up in his stats. Ben has thrown 12 interceptions to only 13 touchdowns.

The Cowboys will set Ware loose on Ben. Jay Ratliff is having a season year with six sacks. Ben has been sacked 33 times this season; second worst in the league.

Mewelde Moore and Willie Parker will share the load. Parker is fast, but could blow a tire any play. Moore is a shifty runner that can catch the ball. Neither is known for pushing the pile.

The Cowboys have been playing fantastic red-zone defense. Pittsburgh lacks a goal-line back so Ben will probably be asked to punch it in the end zone.

Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes are playing well, but are seeing the ball less and less. The odd statistic is that Ben is being sacked less than he was last year.

If Ben can stay upright long enough the Cowboys are notoriously bad against the long throw. The mere seconds of space between Ware and Roethlisberger could decide the game.

Special Teams

Sam Paulescu has filled in admirably for injured punter Mat McBriar. Paulescu already has more downs in the 20 than McBriar.

Nick Folk has made 15 of his 17 field goal attempt and is a reliable kick from 40 and 50 yards away.

Orlando Scandrick or Isaiah Stanback will fill in as Kickoff returners. Neither one can match the speed that Felix Jones had but do an admirable job. Patrick Crayton will return punts. The most important thing is that none of them have fumbled.
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: Pittsburgh Can Dominate Wounded Dallas vs Cowboys' Strategy Against the Pittsbur

They need to keep Ware away from Ben.....somehow, someway. Mario Williams got to him one too many times, and we've paid for it all season. We don't need a reinjured Ben going into the final stretch.

Tony Womo doesn't worry me. DeMarcus Ware scares me.
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: Pittsburgh Can Dominate Wounded Dallas vs Cowboys' Strategy Against the Pittsbur

Eat some Tony Romo
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: Pittsburgh Can Dominate Wounded Dallas vs Cowboys' Strategy Against the Pittsbur

Double Ware pl0x
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: Pittsburgh Can Dominate Wounded Dallas vs Cowboys' Strategy Against the Pittsbur

Just a couple of things on this article...

1) Since Parcells came(and then handed the reigns to Phillips), we've had incredible luck of being one of the most healthiest teams in the league(aside from '04 and '05), part of the reason is that we have one of the best S&C coaches in the league.

Pt being that with the number of wounded guys we've had this year, we should have seen it coming. We're not in that bad of a shape, but with our difficult Dec schedule, it would sure help to have them.

2) For some unknown reasons, we would be going into Dec supposedly peaking at the right time, getting stronger, playing with a swagger, etc, etc...but out of nowhere, TSHTF. '06 was a prime example when we went from being Super Bowl favorites after taking a commanding lead in the NFCE to Christmas Day a few weeks later watching the Eagles destroy us at our house to take over this division. Every Dec is alot like watching a slasher horror flick with this team. Why other teams with less talent finish strong in the final spring is mystifying.

Anyhow-that's my rants for now.

BTW-Tony Romo is NOT over-hyped.

Last edited by BrandonCarr39; 12-02-2008 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: Pittsburgh Can Dominate Wounded Dallas vs Cowboys' Strategy Against the Pittsbur

i would bet that ben should be doing a lot of quick passes so he doesn't get hit by ware on evry play... i doubt barber will be out.. he will play and try to play the whole game..
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: Pittsburgh Can Dominate Wounded Dallas vs Cowboys' Strategy Against the Pittsbur

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyoder6 View Post
i would bet that ben should be doing a lot of quick passes so he doesn't get hit by ware on evry play... i doubt barber will be out.. he will play and try to play the whole game..
He's been knicked up all year-in the opener against Cleveland, he suffered torn rib cartilage, and now the toe injury.
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Old 12-02-2008, 09:05 PM   #8
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Default Re: Pittsburgh Can Dominate Wounded Dallas vs Cowboys' Strategy Against the Pittsbur

Quote:
Originally Posted by TNewman41 View Post
Just a couple of things on this article...

BTW-Tony Romo is NOT over-hyped.
And how many playoffs games has he won?

What was that again?

Funny I can't hear you.

Let me help you out.

ZIP, ZERO, NONE, NADA!!!!


Tony Blomo is just a creation of the media sucking of the "South" Americas Team.
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: Pittsburgh Can Dominate Wounded Dallas vs Cowboys' Strategy Against the Pittsbur

That line about the PK. 15 of 17, "reliable" from 40 to 50 yards. Yeah, them stats ain't from Heinz Field on a December night.
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: Pittsburgh Can Dominate Wounded Dallas vs Cowboys' Strategy Against the Pittsbur

Quote:
Originally Posted by Psyychoward86 View Post
I dont like articles like this. They sound highly biased against the Steelers's opponents and make them look bad. Pittsburgh 28-7? That's a terrible score prediction. The cowboys can score well, and they can play defense. Im not bowing down to the cowboys, but show some respect for a very good football team. It should be a close game. Were not gonna blow out every good team we face. It should be a really tough ball game.
National Enquirer >>> Bleacher Report
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