Steelers-Cowboys Post-Game Notes

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STEELERS vs COWBOYS SUNDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2008 KICKOFF -- 4:15 P.M.  POST-GAME NOTES

 
Team Notes:
• Pittsburgh won its fourth straight game overall and improved to 10-3 on the season.
• The Steelers improved to 13-14 all-time against the Cowboys in the regular season, including an 8-6 mark in Pittsburgh. It marks the first win for the Steelers in Pittsburgh in the series history since a 24-21 victory at Three Rivers Stadium in 1988.
• The Steelers finished the 2008 season with a 2-2 mark against the NFC, but they have now won 15 of their past 19 games (including Super Bowl XL) versus NFC teams, dating back to 2003.
• Pittsburgh owns a 52-24-1 (.682) record in the months of November and December since 2000, which is the second-best record in the NFL.
• Pittsburgh improved to 5-2 at Heinz Field on the year. The Steelers own the best home record in the NFL with a 215-83-1 since 1970.
• The Steelers held the Cowboys to just 13 points after Dallas entered the game averaging 24.9 points per game.
S Troy Polamalupicked off his career-high seventh pass of the season on the Cowboys' first drive of the game. It marks the fourth straight game Polamalu has posted an interception, which is also a career high.
• After K Jeff Reedmissed a 45-yard field goal on the ensuing possession, Dallas drove to the Steelers' 33-yard line before being stopped on a fourth-and-one by Pittsburgh's defense.
CB Ike Taylorposted his first interception of the season in the second quarter on the Cowboys' 22-yard line, which set up a 24-yard field goal by Reed to give Pittsburgh a 3-0 lead.
• Dallas tied the game at 3-3 at the half as K Nick Folk booted a 44-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.
• The Cowboys grabbed their first lead of the game on their first drive of the second half as QB Tony Romo hit WR Terrell Owens for a 12-yard touchdown pass with 9:36 left in the third quarter. It was the first touchdown the Steelers have allowed in the third quarter this season. Pittsburgh had given up three field goals in the third quarter through the first 12 games.
WR Santonio Holmeshad a 35-yard punt return in the fourth quarter that set up a 41-yard field goal by Reed four plays later, cutting the lead to 13-6 with 7:15 remaining in the game.
QB Ben Roethlisbergerengineered an eight-play drive that tied the game at 13-13 with just over two minutes remaining in the game as he capped the drive with a six-yard touchdown pass to TE Heath Miller.
• The Cowboys took over and ran one play before the Steelers called a timeout with 1:51 remaining in the game. On the next play, CB Deshea Townsendpicked off a Romo pass and returned it 25 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with 1:40 left in the contest. It was Townsend's second interception of the season and the 20th of his career. The interception for a touchdown was the first for the Steelers this season and the first since CB Ike Taylorpicked off a pass against St. Louis on Dec. 20, 2007 and returned it 51 yards for a score.
• The Steelers defense forced the Cowboys to turn the ball over on downs to capture the victory.
• Pittsburgh gained just 238 yards of total offense (70 rushing, 168 passing) and managed to convert just 3-of-16 attempts (19 percent).
• The Steelers allowed 289 yards of total offense (95 rushing, 194 passing), marking the 13th straight game this year they have held an opponent under 300 yards. It is the second-longest streak in the NFL since 1970 as the L.A. Rams did not allow an opponent to gain 300 yards in 14 games in 1973.
• The Steelers had four first-half first downs but finished with 13. The Cowboys had 15 first downs.
• Pittsburgh had three sacks in the game, including one each by LB James Harrison, LB James Farriorand DE Travis Kirschke, giving the team 45 on the season. Harrison's sack was his 15th of the year, tying the team's single-season record held by Mike Merriweather (1984).
• The Steelers forced five turnovers on the day, including three interceptions and two fumbles. Pittsburgh has forced 10 turnovers in the past two games.
QB Dennis Dixon (3rd QB), CB Fernando Bryant, LB Bruce Davis, OT Tony Hills,DT Scott Paxson, OT Marvel Smith, DE Orpheus Royeand DE Brett Keisel were inactive.
 
 
Individual Notes:
QB Ben Roethlisberger
• Finished 17-of-33 for 204 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions (80.9 passer rating).
• Tossed a game-tying, six-yard touchdown pass to TE Heath Miller with just over two minutes remaining in the game.
• Connected with WR Santonio Holmes with a 47-yard pass in the third quarter.
• Rushed five times for 17 yards (3.4 avg.), including a long of nine yards.
• The fourth-quarter come-from-behind victory was the 16th for his career in the regular season.
• Improved to 15-4 (.789) all-time against the NFC as a starting quarterback. He is 2-0 all-time against the Cowboys.
• Improved to 49-19 (.721) all-time as a starting quarterback. The 49 wins break the NFL record for wins by a starting quarterback in his first five seasons in the NFL.
• Improved to 27-8 (.771) all-time at home as a starting quarterback.
 
RB Willie Parker
• Finished with a team-high 25 yards on 12 carries (2.1 avg.).
 
RB Mewelde Moore
• Had five rushes for 22 yards (4.4 avg.) and caught four passes for 36 yards (9.0 avg.).
 
RB Gary Russell
• Rushed four times for six yards (1.5 avg.) and had three kickoff returns for 66 yards (22.0 avg.), including a long of 31 yards.
 
WR Hines Ward
• Finished with one catch for two yards, extending his streak to 159 consecutive games with at least one reception.
 
WR Santonio Holmes
• Hauled in a 47-yard pass from Roethlisberger in the third quarter.
• Had a 35-yard punt return in the fourth quarter, which is the longest for the Steelers this season.
• Finished with three catches for 82 yards (27.3 avg.).
 
WR Nate Washington
• Had a team-high four catches for 58 yards (14.5 avg.), including a long of 21 yards.
• On the game-tying drive in the fourth quarter, caught three passes for 41 yards.
 
TE Heath Miller
• Had three catches for 20 yards (6.7 avg.), including the game-tying touchdown with just over two minutes left in the game. It was his third touchdown of the season and 21st of his career. He moved past Bennie Cunningham for third place on the team's all-time list for touchdown catches by a tight end.
 
OT Max Starks
• Made his eighth straight start in place of the injured OT Marvel Smith.
 
DE Travis Kirschke
• Made his second straight start in place of the injured DE Brett Keisel. It marked his fifth start of the season.
• Recorded his first fumble recovery of the season.
• Had a six-yard sack in the fourth quarter, giving him 1.5 sacks on the year.
• Finished with six tackles (four solo).
 
LB James Farrior
• Posted an eight-yard sack in the third quarter, giving him 3.5 on the year.
• Finished with a game-high 12 tackles (six solo).
 
LB James Harrison
• Posted his 15th sack of the season, which ties Mike Merriweather for the most in a single season in team history. Merriweather had 15 in 1984.
• Had his team-leading and career-best seventh forced fumble of the season.
• Finished with eight tackles (five solo).
 
LB LaMarr Woodley
• Had five tackles (three solo).
 
LB Lawrence Timmons
• Had his first fumble recovery of the season on a botched punt by the Cowboys in the second quarter.
• Finished with three tackles.
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S Ryan Clark

• Had eight tackles (three solo).
 
 
 
S Troy Polamalu
• Had his career-high seventh interception of the season on the Cowboys' first drive of the game. He has a pick in his career-best fourth straight game.
• Finished with nine tackles (seven solo) with one tackle for loss.
 
CB Deshea Townsend
• Picked off his second pass of the season and 20th of his career and returned it 25 yards for the game-winning touchdown with less than two minutes remaining in the game. It was his third career interception return for a touchdown and his first since Oct. 31, 2004 vs. New England (39 yards).
• Finished with three tackles.
 
CB William Gay
• Made his fourth career start and finished with three tackles and two passes defensed.
 
CB Ike Taylor
• Posted his first interception of the season deep in the Cowboys' territory in the second quarter, which set up a 24-yard field goal by K Jeff Reed.
• Finished with two tackles.
 
K Jeff Reed
• Finished 2-for-3 in FGs and 2-for-2 in PATs for eight points.
• Missed a 45-yard field goal in the first half, but redeemed himself in the second quarter with a 24-yard field goal that gave Pittsburgh a 3-0 lead.
• Booted a 41-yard field goal in the fourth quarter that cut the lead to 13-6 with 7:15 remaining.

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