Carr pick takes Cowboys past Steelers in OT win, 27-24
via Associated Press
Carr intercepted a pass from Roethlisberger on the second play of overtime and returned it 36 yards to the 1, setting up Dan Bailey’s 21-yard field goal that gave the Cowboys a 27-24 win over the Steelers on Sunday.
Bailey’s kick – 1:24 into OT – won a game for the second straight week since Dallas practice squad linebacker Jerry Brown was killed in a one-car accident that led to manslaughter charges against teammate Josh Brent.
The Cowboys (8-6) have won five of six and pulled even with the New York Giants and Washington atop the NFC East with two games remaining.
The winning kick came after Tony Romo, who broke the 25,000-yard passing milestone earlier in the game, took a knee to put Bailey in better position. Bailey beat Cincinnati 20-19 last week with a 40-yarder as time expired, just a day after the accident that killed Brown.
At the end of another emotion-fuelled game, Carr said:
“We have a lot of heavy hearts right now… Fifty-three was on the sideline today, so after the interception, that’s where the game ball went.”
The defining play came from a Dallas defense playing without six injured starters, the latest being Carr’s playing partner on the other side, first-round pick Morris Claiborne. The rookie was sidelined after sustaining a concussion against the Bengals.
Defensive end Jason Hatcher said following the game:
“I really can’t explain it. It’s something destined about this team, You look back there and you don’t know nobody back there behind you.”
The score was tied 24-all in the final two minutes of regulation. Pittsburgh quickly moved to its 46 after a completion by Roethlisberger and a roughing-the-passer penalty against DeMarcus Ware.
But Sean Lissemore and Anthony Spencer sacked Roethlisberger on consecutive plays to give the Cowboys the ball back.
The Cowboys couldn’t do anything in the final minute. Their drive stalled at the Steelers’ 43, and Bailey lined up for a 61-yard field goal attempt with 32 seconds left. But Dallas called timeout and punted instead. Roethlisberger took a knee, sending the game to overtime.
Earlier in the fourth quarter, Pittsburgh was driving for a go-ahead score when Ware and Spencer sacked Roethlisberger at the Dallas 40, forcing a punt with three minutes left. The Cowboys opted to punt at the two-minute warning after a third-down pass to Dwayne Harris was less than a yard short of the first down.
Roethlisberger put the Steelers ahead 24-17 with a 7-yard scoring pass to Antonio Brown, and Brown was about to put Pittsburgh in control with a long punt return.
But Brown fumbled when Victor Butler reached out and knocked the ball loose at the end of a 22-yard return. DeMarco Murray, who had 81 yards on 14 carries, then scored on a 3-yard run.
Of the forced fumble, Butler said:
“There was about five or six guys, all in black and yellow, and I see the punter and me and the long snapper and I figure I am probably the best tackler out of the three. It was time to make a play.”
Dez Bryant extended his touchdown streak to six games while playing with a broken left index finger, a 24-yard score that put Romo over 25,000 yards for his career and gave Dallas a 10-0 lead.
The Boys move in to a three way tie at the tope of the NFC East knowing wins at home to the Saints and away to the Redskins will give them the division title by virtue of tiebreakers. The defense continues to function despite being knocked around and the offensive line under Bill Calahan is beginning to click and give Tony Romo and the Cowboys skill players time to make plays.