What Went Right, What Went Wrong

What went right, wrong vs.Cowboys

COIN TOSS: The Steelers get the ball first, and after a touchback the offense took over at the 25-yard line.

8:15 p.m. - What Went Wrong: One of the elements within Matt Canada's offense is the jet sweep, but on the game's opening possession it cost the Steelers. Mason Rudolph started off with a 7-yard completion to Diontae Johnson, and then a 6-yard run by Najee Harris was good for a first down. A 3-yard run by Harris, and then a 2-yard gain by Ray-Ray McCloud on a jet sweep set up a third-and-5. Rudolph converted with a pretty 11-yard pass to Chase Claypool. But on the next play, Rudolph and Claypool couldn't execute the handoff on another jet sweep, and Micah Parsons recovered at the Steelers 48-yard line.

8:23 p.m. - What Went Right: Following the turnover, the Steelers defense bent a little, but then Alex Highsmith used a spin move to sack Garrett Gilbert for a 7-yard loss to set up a third-and-goal from the 11-yard line. Then, Gilbert's third-down pass to Malik Turner was broken up by rookie Tre Norwood, and Dallas settled for a 29-yard field goal by Hunter Niswander. Dallas led, 3-0, with 6:57 left in the first quarter.

8:31 p.m. - What Went Wrong: Following the touchback on the kickoff, the Steelers started with a 14-yard catch-and-run by Diontae Johnson, who caught a quick pass from Rudolph, got a nice block from Ray-Ray McCloud and took it from there. A 6-yard run by Najee Harris, then a 5-yard run by Harris was followed by a 6-yard completion to Chase Claypool. On third-and-3, a slant pass to Claypool was incomplete, and the fault was a combination of Rudolph's pass being a little long and Claypool having the ball bounced off his hands. Pressley Harvin's 35-yard punt was returned 1 yard, and the Cowboys took over at the 11-yard line.

8:46 p.m. - What Went Right: Again, the Steelers defense allowed some yardage and some first downs, but again, the Steelers defense stiffened in the red zone and forced Dallas to attempt a 28-yard field goal. And this time Hunter Niswander was wide left, and with 11:30 left in the first half the Cowboys lead stayed at 3-0. The big defensive play for the Steelers was made by Cassius March, whose strip-sack of Garrett Gilbert on a third-and-3 from the Steelers 7-yard line ended up as a loss of 3 yards. That forced the field goal that Niswander missed.

8:55 p.m. - What Went Wrong: Starting at the 20-yard after Niswander's missed field goal, the Steelers had the ball at the Cowboys 29-yard line after a diving catch by Chase Claypool for a 45-yard reception from Mason Rudolph. The Steelers drive then stalled, and Sam Sloman came on to attempt a 49-yard field goal after Rudolph's pass to James Washington on a third-and-12 was incomplete after being thrown behind him. Sloman's kick was wide left.

9:06 p.m. - What Went Right: The Steelers defense snuffed one Dallas drive with a sack by Alex Highsmith, and they snuffed this one when Justin Layne forced a fumble that Antoine Brooks recovered and returned 15 yards to the Pittsburgh 35-yard line. Dallas decided to go for it on a fourth-and-15 from the Steelers 40-yard line. Cooper Rush completed a pass to Malik Turner, but Layne stripped the ball loose and Brooks recovered.

9:15 p.m. - What Went Right: Pressley Harvin's second punt traveled 48 yards and was downed at the Dallas 1-yard line by Mark Gilbert, with help from Anthony Johnson.

HALFTIME: Cowboys 3, Steelers 0

9:44 p.m. - What Went Right: It began with the Steelers defense. The Cowboys took the second half kickoff, and rookie Quincy Roche sacked Ben DiNucci for a 4-yard loss to force a punt that Matthew Sexton returned 36 yards to give the offense the ball at the Cowboys 33-yard line. Dwayne Haskins hit Kevin Rader for a 15-yard gain; Anthony McFarland ran for 9 yards; and Kalen Ballage ran for 5 yards. After an incomplete pass, Ballage burst 4 yards up the middle for a touchdown in which Rader pancaked a Cowboys defender at the goal line. Sam Sloman missed the PAT, and the Steelers led, 6-3, with 10:48 left in the third quarter.

9:57 p.m. - What Went Right: Again, it was the Steelers defense that set the table. A Donovan Stiner interception of a Ben DiNucci pass and an 18-yard return gave the offense the ball at the Dallas 44-yard line. Dewayne Haskins completed a 6-yard pass to Anthony McFarland on a third-and-7, and then Kalen Ballage followed with a 4-yard run to convert the fourth-and-1. Two plays later, a 9-yard run by Ballage was nullified by an illegal block penalty on tight end Marcus Baugh. Two plays later, Sam Sloman drilled a 48-yard field goal to give the Steelers a 9-3 lead with 5:15 left in the third quarter.

10:31 p.m. - What Went Right: The Cowboys gambled on a fourth-and-1 from their 42-yard line with 12:08 left in the fourth quarter, and Ben DiNucci's pass for Aaron Parker was broken up by Stephen Denmark. With Joshua Dobbs at quarterback, the Steelers promptly drove the 42 yards in seven plays to score the touchdown that upped their lead to 16-3 with 8:44 remaining. Dobbs started with a 17-yard completion to Trey Edmunds, and then Jaylen Samuels gained 11 yards on three straight carries. Two plays later, Dobbs threw a nice pass to Tyler Simmons for the 5-yard touchdown.

FINAL SCORE: Steelers 16, Cowboys 3