A lack of touchdowns cost the Dallas Cowboys in a 24-19 loss to the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers. Dallas settled for four field goals something that has become all too familiar this season. For context CeeDee Lamb’s second-quarter touchdown was the Cowboys first touchdown in 25 drives.
Quarterback Garrett Gilbert made his first career start in place of rookie Ben DiNucci after beating Cooper Rush for the job. He responded well showing great poise in the face of intense pressure throwing for 243 yards and a touchdown along with an interception and added 28 yards on the ground. For the first time in awhile Dallas had a decent ground game led by running backs Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard who combined for 108 yards on 27 carries. Along with the teams, lone touchdown Lamb led in receiving yards with 71 on four catches. Fellow receiver Amari Cooper had five catches for 67 yards and tight end Dalton Schultz added four catches for 48 yards.
Maybe even most impressive of all was the performance of the Cowboys offensive line against one of the best pass-rushing duos in the NFL in TJ Watt and Bud Dupree. The unit only allowed two sacks but a crucial one on fourth and eight late in the game. Rookie tackle Terrence Steele rebound well and had one of his better outings of the season. The offense finished with 364 yards and 19 first downs.
Defensively Dallas did a great job stifling Pittsburgh’s run game holding them to just 46 yards including two stops on fourth and one. On the day they allowed 355 yards and 20 first downs forcing four punts. Despite leaving in the fourth quarter rookie corner Trevon Diggs along with linebacker Jaylon Smith led with seven tackles. Diggs’s absence was most notable during Pittsburgh’s game-winning touchdown drive as replacement Saivion Smith was beaten by receiver Diontae Johnson for a 48 yard gain that set up Eric Ebron’s touchdown. Smith did however break up the two-point conversion.
Dallas struck first with a 38-yard Greg Zuerlein field goal taking a 3-0 lead into the second quarter. Lamb found the end zone midway through the second and Zuerlein added a 44-yard field goal giving Dallas a 13-0 lead. Pittsburgh responded with 10 points in 1:10 first from a 17-yard James Washington touchdown and a franchise-record 59-yard field goal by Chris Boswell, who missed the extra point, making it 13-9 at half-time.
The third quarter belonged to Dallas as Zuerlein added two more field goals from 45 and 39 yards. Things went south from there as Ben Roethlisberger found JuJu Smith-Schuster for a 31-yard touchdown making it once again a four-point game after a blocked extra point. Midway through the quarter, Boswell hit a 43-yard field goal cutting the Cowboys lead to one set up by a Minkah Fitzpatrick interception. Pittsburgh took the lead for good on an eight yard Ebron touchdown taking a 24-19 lead.
Dallas would turn the ball over on the following drive but another fourth-down stop gave them one last chance with 38 seconds left. Gilbert led them as far as the Steelers 23-yard touchdown but his heave to the end zone fell short dropping Dallas to 2-7.