DallasCowboys.com Staff Writer
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Don’t Forget About These Five: Ball Bounces Right For Dallas
ARLINGTON, Texas – The Cowboys and Steelers played a classic game in what has been a historic rivalry between the two. Usually, the memorable clashes have occurred in Super Bowls, but this one was a great one for the regular season.
Lots of memorable plays for both teams, but like always, there are a handful of hidden gems that played a major role in the Cowboys’ 27-24 overtime win. Here are five plays that might go unnoticed, but played a factor in the final outcome.
(Plays listed in chronological order)
1. Wallace’s bobble and reversed call – The Cowboys led 3-0 early, but the Steelers were driving for some points. They had third-and-6 at the Cowboys’ 44 and appeared to get the first down on what was ruled a 12-yard catch to Mike Wallace to the Cowboys’ 32. But the Cowboys’ coaching staff upstairs quickly saw Wallace bobbled the ball and got only one foot in. They urged Garrett to challenge the play and the replay booth reversed the call, forcing the Steelers to punt.
2. Incomplete to Dwyer – Early in the second half, the Steelers got a big stop on defense and gave the ball back to the offense near midfield. The Steelers were at the Cowboys’ 45 for a third-and-5 and it appeared Roethlisberger had tailback Jonathan Dwyer in the flat for a first-down gain. But the pass was way short and Dwyer couldn’t handle it, leading to a punt. The Cowboys took the ball and drove 80 yards for a touchdown.
3. Harris’ second-effort – With the game tied at 17, Dallas had a second-and-23 after a 13-yard sack by James Harrison. The Cowboys got a big chunk of the yards back on a nifty run after the catch by Dwayne Harris, who took a short pass in the right flat and weaved through defenders for 18 yards. It set up a manageable third-and-5, which the Cowboys converted on an 8-yard catch by Cole Beasley. The drive eventually led to a touchdown by Dez Bryant.
4. Butler did it – Victor Butler isn’t the Cowboys’ best special teams player, but he had one of the better special teams plays of the season. With the Steelers leading 24-17 and Antonio Brown running through the punt coverage unit for a big return midway through the fourth, Butler stuck his hand out and swiped the ball away from Brown. It was recovered by John Phillips and the Cowboys were able to score and tie the game.
5. Friendly roll for Moorman – The Cowboys elected to play it safe on a fourth-down punt by Brian Moorman with 2:00 to play at their own 17. Instead of booming the ball as far as possible, Moorman did the flip-kick that is usually used around midfield. But with Brown not fielding it, the ball bounced another 20 yards to the Steelers’ 20, netting a 59-yard punt. The Steelers weren’t able to get in position for a go-ahead field goal.