Eight isn't enough

The Steelers intend to achieve much more this season than an eight-game winning streak to start the season.

But they still appreciated what the first 8-0 start in franchise history means after Sunday's 24-19, come-from-behind victory in Dallas.

"We're humbled and honored to be that group," head coach Mike Tomlin acknowledged.

Defensive tackle Cam Heyward embraced the Steelers' 8-0 start with appreciation as well as perspective after a second consecutive fourth-quarter comeback was followed up by a last-second defensive stand.

"I think it just shows mental toughness," Heyward said. "The last three games have been on the road, we played quality opponents and guys are hungry. It takes different guys to step up each game.

"All it guarantees is we can go 8-8. That's not saying a lot, so we understand the job's not done. But I'm glad we're in a position where everybody's looking at us. You don't have to wait for other people to do their jobs, they gotta chase you."

Last week the Steelers came back to beat the Ravens.

This time they had to rally to get past Dallas, which came in at 2-6 and has been decimated by injuries.

The Cowboys started their fourth different quarterback (Garrett Gilbert) in nine games on Sunday afternoon at AT&T Stadium.

"I can tell you we're 8-0 for the first time in franchise history and that every time we face adversity we fight," tight end Eric Ebron offered. "Honestly, that's the only thing I can tell you. I don't give up, I try to pump so much energy into this team and I feel like it works, man. I feel like it all comes together.

"At the end of the day, I just wouldn't bet against us."

CARDIAC ROETHLISBERGER:The Steelers had rallied from second-half deficits of 10 or more points in consecutive road games previously, but not since 1953.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger authored the 45th rally from a tie or a deficit in the fourth quarter of his career in the comeback over the Cowboys, the fifth-highest total in NFL history.

"I just don't want to let my guys down," Roethlisberger said. "So many times the (offensive) line and guys are looking at me on the sideline, they're like, 'Alright, Ben, we believe it you.' I just don't want to let them down, so I wanna give everything I have and fight.

"Listen, I wish that we didn't have to have fourth-quarter comebacks. I wish that I played better early in the games or we were up and you didn't have to do it but it's the way it is. If we have to have a situation like this where we have to score late or win in the fourth quarter, as long as we win we'll take it."

DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN: For a second consecutive Sunday, the game ended with a pass into the end zone that was batted away by free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.

The defense, Fitzpatrick insisted, is built for such situations.

"It's a passion for the game, a preparation for the game," he said. "We go through situations like this in practice. We go though situations like this in film and we're prepared for these moments.

"And those moments boil down to execution, go out there and execute."

FOURTH-AND-GO-FOR-IT: Tomlin had a decision to make in the final minute of regulation with the Steelers facing fourth-and-1 at the Cowboys 15-yard line: Attempt a field goal that could increase the Steelers' lead to eight points or go for the first down that, if achieved, would allow the Steelers to run out the clock.

Turns out it wasn't much of a decision.

"Man, we had struggled so much with our field goal group early in the game I just didn't feel good about it," Tomlin said. "They were beating us to the punch pretty much for the better part of the day in special teams. We missed the extra point. They blocked (an extra point). We skied a kick trying to pin 'em down into territory and they flipped the field with a big kickoff return.

"I had just seen enough of their dominance in (special) teams."

Running back James Conner lost 4 yards on a fourth-down run and the Cowboys took over at their 19 with 38 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

They reached the Steelers' 23 before throwing that last-gasp pass into the end zone.

"I have a great deal of confidence in our short-yardage abilities," Tomlin said. "Obviously, it didn't work out for us there."