The Cowboys come into this game in the same situation as the Steelers did last week versus the Patriots. The Cowboys come off of a long week off after last playing on Thanksgiving day. The Cowboys will start rookie running back Tashard Choice versus the Steelers number one defense. The weather also favors the home team Steelers as temperatures will be in the 20\’s with the possibility of snow.
On offense the Steelers will once again look to run the ball with a mix of running backs Willie Parker and Mewelde Moore and use a ball controlled passing game to work underneath and the middle of the field. Starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger needs to let the Steeler defense do it\’s job and just manage a turnover free game. The Cowboy run defense ranks 10th in the NFL allowing just 96.8 yards per game.
On defense the Steelers must take advantage of a rookie running back starting and concentrate on holding wide receiver Terrell Owens and tight end Jason Witten in check by using one less defender in the box while still getting pressure on quarterback Tony Romo, who has only been sacked eight times in nine games. The Steelers look to get cornerback Bryant McFadden back this week and ease him back into the rotation of defensive backs. Getting a short field for the offense through turnovers will be key in this battle of two great defensive teams.
In summation, this is a game the Steelers have everything pointing their way. The turnover battle will play a huge part in this game as will the ability to run the ball and convert on third downs. Whoever flinches first will likely lose. The Steelers will once again pull out this game late.
Prediction: Steelers 17 Cowboys 16