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Gut Feeling

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Gut Feeling: Predictions For Cowboys-Steelers


The Cowboys have yet to decide on who starts between Garrett Gilbert or Cooper Rush. Whoever it is, will be the third straight quarterback to start for the Cowboys since Dak Prescott went down with a season-ending injury.

Meanwhile, the Steelers are the only undefeated team in the NFL with a 7-0 record. They have a high-powered offense and a defense that ranks No. 5 in total defense.

The staff gives their 'gut feeling' for this Week 9 matchup:

Kyle Youmans: Another week, another quarterback. A situation that is not indicative to winning no matter the organization and no matter the opponent. Throw in the fact that the most complete team in the NFL comes to town this week and it'll be tough for anyone to pick the Cowboys with a straight face. However, there's a lot to build on heading into the week. While a win would've been nice last week, the positive steps taken on defense can be expanded upon. There's a chance to do that this week against an offense in the league's bottom five in yardage, but present a tough test in terms of the weapons they have. There is a chance they lose this game and still walk away feeling better about your season, but they have to execute to even achieve that. Steelers take this one, 27-13.

David Helman: We always say there are no moral victories in the NFL, but this is a week where I'm going to allow it. It's absolutely absurd how many disadvantages are working against the Cowboys right now. And if that wasn't bad enough, their opposition is the last remaining unbeaten in the league. Technically, anything is possible – but I'm going to be impressed if the Cowboys can keep this within two scores. Pittsburgh's offense is talented enough to take advantage of this Dallas defense. But more importantly, I don't know how Cooper Rush or Garrett Gilbert is going to lead the Cowboys to more than 7-10 points. I expect to see the Cowboys scrap for a half or so. Perhaps Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard can spark them to their first touchdown since Week 6. But I don't think they'll be able to generate turnovers this week, and that'll help Pittsburgh pull away. I see James Conner running for 130 and a couple touchdowns, and the Steelers wind up winning, 34-10. I've got CeeDee Lamb scoring a fourth quarter touchdown, though – which maybe will make us all feel a little bit better. Maybe.

Nick Eatman: Of all the factors people use to make football picks for a specific game, I just can't see any of them that remotely favor the Cowboys. The Steelers offense looks too balanced to have any problems with this struggling defense. The Steelers defense should have a field day against an offense that isn't balanced and is starting a quarterback that wasn't on an NFL roster just a month ago. Coaching staff? The Cowboys have a first-year staff while the Steelers have Mike Tomlin and three coordinators who have all been there at least three seasons together. Momentum? The Cowboys have lost three in a row while the Steelers haven't lost a game this year. This is one of the worst teams in the NFL against the best team. And if that's not enough, the Cowboys certainly won't have a home-field advantage in any way. Those yellow towels won't be the only "terrible" thing for the Cowboys on Sunday. I'd like to see them slow this game down and try run the ball the way they did to open the third quarter in Philly. There will be time to take shots down the field and maybe throw in some more trick plays. But at the end of the day, the Steelers are just too good. I'll take Pittsburgh, 31-12.     

Mickey Spagnola: My gut tells me here are the three musts for the Cowboys to try and administer the first loss of the season to the 7-0 Steelers. Absolutely must give the Cowboys' fourth starting quarterback in nine games – either Garrett Gilbert or Cooper Rush – some time in the pocket against the defense leading the NFL with 30 sacks. Also, how about running the football, a QB making his first NFL start best friend. And then, and this might be a tall order against a Pittsburgh team averaging 30 points a game, but can the Cowboys get two consecutive uptown defensive performances in a row? Do those things and they will have a chance to prevent a fourth consecutive loss looming on the horizon.

Rob Phillips: Seems every week we've had uncertainty about at least one key spot on the roster. This is the biggest toss-up yet: a competition this week to determine the fourth starting quarterback of the season. Surreal, really. I do think Garrett Gilbert or Cooper Rush will give the offense a better chance to function Sunday, provided the protection holds up. That's no knock on Ben DiNucci. The rookie simply hasn't had enough time on task in the NFL yet. Gilbert and Rush haven't played much either, but they've been in different systems for years and they've at least played preseason games. In Rush's case, he has experience throwing to some of the Cowboys' top skill players. We'll see what the coaching staff decides. But given the uncertainty there at the moment, and quite frankly how well the Steelers have played – they're as complete a football team as you'll see in the NFL this season – the edge goes to Pittsburgh to keep their undefeated start going.

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