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What Went Right, What Went Wrong

What went right, wrong vs. Cowboys

COIN TOSS: Steelers call tails. It's heads. Cowboys win the toss and elect to defer. Steelers get the ball first.

4:32 p.m. – What Went Wrong: After the Steelers converted the first two third downs of the opening possession, they faced a third-and-7 from the Dallas 49-yard line on the opening possession. Ben Roethlisberger went deep down the right seam for Chase Claypool, and before the ball arrived, cornerback Jourdan Lewis pushed Claypool. No penalty called, and the pass was incomplete. After Jordan Berry's punt, Dallas began their opening possession on the 15-yard line.

4:46 p.m. – What Went Wrong: It had been a long time since Dallas scored a touchdown, more than a couple of games worth, but on its opening possession, Garrett Gilbert marched them 65 yards but then a sack by Alex Highsmith on a third-and-10 from the Steelers 14-yard line forced a 38-yard field goal attempt that Greg Zuerlein converted. Gilbert converted a third-and-1 with a 32-yard completion to Amari Cooper to give the Cowboys some early momentum.

4:51 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Steelers offense followed the Dallas field goal with a three-and-out. A screen pass to James Conner lost 4 yards, and then a run by Benny Snell lost 2 more. On third-and-16, a short pass to Diontae Johnson left the Steelers facing a fourth-and-10. Jordan Berry's 57 yard punt had Dallas start their second possession at their 21-yard line.

5:07 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Steelers moved into Cowboys territory, but then things bogged down with Anthony McFarland in the backfield. After an 8-yard pass to him, he gained 1 yard on second down and was stopped for no gain on third down. On fourth down, Benny Snell was stopped for no gain when Neville Gallimore came down from his defensive end position to stuff the hole.

5:15 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Cowboys took advantage of the defensive stop, and they drove 65 yards in eight plays to take a 10-0 lead on a 20-yard pass from Garrett Gilbert to CeeDee Lamb. Gilbert got things started with a 15-yard scramble when Henry Mondeaux missed him in the backfield, and then he scrambled for another 11 yards. On the touchdown, T.J. Watt was in coverage on Lamb, but when Lamb turned up the sideline Watt couldn't keep up and there was nobody there to provide help. There was 7:45 left in the first half.

5:24 p.m. – What Went Wrong: After a missed opportunity on a bad pass to Diontae Johnson on a third-and-6, Jordan Berry got off a 61-yard punt, but the Cowboys ran a gadget play on the return. Cedrick Wilson fielded the punt and threw the ball back across the field to C.J. Goodwin, who returned it 73 yards. After a penalty on the Cowboys, Dallas got the ball at the Pittsburgh 31-yard line. The Steelers defense held to force a field goal, but Greg Zuerlein hit the 44-yarder, the Cowboys had a 13-0 lead.

5:38 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers took the kickoff and drove 75 yards in nine plays for a touchdown that came on a 17-yard pass to James Washington. Ben Roethlisberger completed 8-of-9 for all 75 yards plus the score. But Roethlisberger also sustained some kind of knee injury midway through the possession, and the Chris Boswell missed the extra point wide to the left. It was 13-6 with 70 seconds left in the first half.

5:50 p.m. – What Went Right: The Steelers got the ball back with 52 seconds left when Cam Sutton forced a CeeDee Lamb fumble after a reception that Minkah Fitzpatrick recovered at the Cowboys 38-yard line. But with Ben Roethlisberger already in the locker room having his knee examined to get a jump on the 12-minute halftime, Mason Rudolph came in cold to play quarterback. The Steelers didn't make much headway on offense, and then Chris Boswell came on to attempt a 54-yard field goal with two seconds left. The kick was wide left, but because Cam Heyward was flagged for a false start that play was dead before the snap, and Boswell got another chance from 59 yards out. He drilled that one right down the middle for a franchise record 59-yard field goal that made it 13-9 at halftime.

6:11 p.m. – What Went Wrong: The Cowboys took the second half kickoff and extended their lead to 16-9 on a 45-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein with 10:17 left in the third quarter. The Cowboys converted a third-and-2 from the Pittsburgh 43-yard line with a 20-yard run by Tony Pollard.

6:17 p.m. – What Went Wrong: After the field goal, the Steelers went three-and-out. On third-and-4 from the 31-yard line, defensive end Randy Gregory used a swim move to get inside Al Villanueva and hit Ben Roethlisberger as he was throwing the ball. The deep pass to James Washington was underthrown and incomplete. After a 50-yard punt by Jordan Berry, Dallas started at its 25-yard line.

6:29 p.m. – What Went Wrong: After a three-and-out by the Steelers, the Cowboys used a 39-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein to take a two-score lead, 19-9, with 2:13 left in the third quarter. This 12-play, 53-yard drive was done mostly via the run. Twenty-five of the 53 yards on the drive came from runs by Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard.

6:42 p.m. – What Went Right: Even when the Steelers did something right, they also managed to mess something up in addition. On the possession following Zuerlein's fourth field goal, Ben Roethlisberger directed a six-play, 75-yard drive that was capped by a 31-yard touchdown pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster. But Chris Boswell's extra point was blocked by Tyrone Crawford. Dallas led, 19-15, with 14:51 left in the fourth quarter.

6:51 p.m. – What Went Right: Minkah Fitzpatrick's second takeaway of the game saved the Steelers at least three points. A 64-yard kickoff return by Rico Dowdle put the ball at the Steelers 36-yard line, and six plays later the Cowboys had a third-and-goal at the Steelers 5-yard line. Under pressure from Cam Heyward, Garrett Gilbert's pass was intercepted 5 yards deep in the end zone by Fitzpatrick.

7:05 p.m. – What Went Right: Following an illegal block penalty on Terrell Edmunds during Minkah Fitzpatrick's interception return, the Steelers started at their 1-yard line. Ben Roethlisberger directed a 75-yard drive in 11 plays that ended with a 43-yard Chris Boswell field goal that cut Dallas' lead to 19-18 with 7:11 left in the fourth quarter.

7:21 p.m. – What Went Right: With 2:14 left in the fourth quarter, the Steelers took their first lead of the game, 24-19, on an 8-yard touchdown pass to Eric Ebron that capped a six-play, 79-yard drive. The big play came on what first appeared to be an incomplete pass on third-and-10 from the Pittsburgh 21-yard line. But Jaylon Smith hit Ben Roethlisberger's facemask on his pass rush, and that's a 15-yard penalty. The other big play was a short pass to Diontae Johnson that he turned into a 42-yard play by avoiding tackles by Saivion Smith and Xavier Woods. The two-point conversion pass for Chase Claypool was incomplete.

7:41 p.m. – What Went Right: For the second straight week, winning or losing came down to the final play of the game for the Steelers, and for the second time, Minkah Fitzpatrick made the play on the ball. The Cowboys had taken over on downs at their 19-yard line after a James Conner run on a fourth-and-1 play lost 4 yards. Garrett Gilbert took over the immediately completed a 49-yard pass to CeeDee Lamb, and then he converted a third-and-10 with a 20-yard pass to Michael Gallup. But with 2 seconds left and the ball at the 23-yard line Gilbert had to go to the end zone, and Fitzpatrick was there to make the play.

FINAL SCORE: Steelers 24, Cowboys 19