Even though the Steelers wrecked the New England Patriots, 33-10, this past Sunday at Gillette Stadium, the final score may have been a little deceiving. Late in the second quarter, the Steelers were tied 10-10 and it took a missed field goal and five second-half New England turnovers for the Steelers to finally pull ahead and pick up the 23-point victory. The Steelers compiled 333 yards of total offense and were penalized eight times for 88 yards, two numbers contradicting their 33-point output. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger continued his up-and-down season completing just 17 of his 33 pass attempts for 179 yards. Nonetheless, a win on the road against a 7-5 Patriots squad was impressive and puts the Steelers at 9-3 and in sole possession of first place in the AFC North.
The Cowboys have been very successful at protecting Tony Romo since the bye week, allowing just one sack in three games. With Pittsburgh's pass-rushing tandem of James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley lining up opposite of the Cowboys' offense Sunday, though, that might change. The two pressure linebackers have combined for 25.5 sacks and headline a Steelers defense which ranks first in the NFL with 42 sacks, just two more than the second-place Cowboys.
Cowboys receivers coach Ray Sherman, who has been an NFL assistant nine different teams in his career, was part of the Steelers' coaching staff in 1998 ... Steelers assistant secondary coach Ray Horton recorded five interceptions as a free safety with the Cowboys from 1989-92 while winning a Super Bowl ring.
Starting with the Steelers' No. 1-ranked defense Sunday, the Cowboys will have to play the three-best NFL defenses in the next three games - Pittsburgh, New York Giants and Baltimore . . . The Cowboys are 2-0 against the AFC North this season, having beaten the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals earlier in the year . . . Dallas has picked up wins in eight of its last 10 games against AFC opponents . . . After losing five straight games to the Steelers from 1976-1982 - two of those Super Bowl losses - the Cowboys have beaten the Steelers in five of their past seven meetings, losing the last one, though, 24-20 in 2004 . . . After going 2-3 at Pittsburgh's previous home field, Three Rivers Stadium, Sunday's game will mark the first time the Cowboys have played at Heinz Field in the regular season . . . The Cowboys first-ever franchise game was against the Steelers in 1960, resulting in a 35-28 loss for Dallas.