Dallas Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr picked off a pass from Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger intended for wide receiver Mike Wallace on the second play of overtime and kicker Dan Bailey kicked home the game-winner one play after that to give the Cowboys a 27-24 home win at home Sunday.
The loss drops the Steelers to 7-7 on the season and now they must win their final two games of the regular season with no momentum against the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns if they are to make the playoffs.
Roethlisberger finished the game 24-of-40 for 339 yards with 2 touchdowns in the loss, which he took full responsibility for after the game.
The Steelers wide receivers certainly played a big part in the loss as once again the trio of Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown all registered drops in the game. Brown also had a crucial fumble on a punt return with 10:18 left in the game with the Steelers up 7 points at the time. Had Brown not been stripped of the football the Steelers would have likely been set up in Cowboys territory with a great opportunity to extend their lead.
The Steelers young cornerbacks were also victimized early and often in the loss and the poor tackling, especially in the secondary, led to several yards gained by the Cowboys after the catch.
The Steelers played the game without starting cornerbacks Ike Taylor and Cortez Allen, who both sat out the game injured. The remaining cornerback with experience, Keenan Lewis, left the game in the second half with a groin injury. That left the Steelers with only Curtis Brown, Josh Victorian and Robert Golden, who coming into the game had a total of 64 defensive snaps played between them.
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo finished the game 30-of-42 passing for 341 yards and 2 touchdowns to wide receiver Dez Bryant and tight end Jason Witten. Wide receiver Miles Austin led the Cowboys with 7 catches for 79 yards, most of which came against Victorian.
The Steelers defense only allowed 4 out of 11 third downs to be converted in the game, but most of the damage was done by the Cowboys offense on first and second downs.
In addition to losing Lewis during the game to injury, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said during his post game press conference that reserve cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke suffered a separated shoulder early in the game and that Sanders suffered a rib injury.