Destiny may be on board as Cowboys beat Steelers in OT

Posted Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
A

Will the Cowboys make the playoffs?

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

ARLINGTON -- The Dallas Cowboys still aren't a pretty football team.

They remain injury-riddled and mistake-prone at times.

But they have proven to have a persevering spirit that has been tested on and off the field through triumph and tragedy.

Now -- after the Cowboys rallied to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24 in overtime before 95,595 fans at Cowboys Stadium -- they might be destined as well.

Cornerback Brandon Carr's interception off Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and 36-yard return two plays into overtime set up Dan Bailey's game-winning kick from 21 yards out.

It was the Cowboys' third consecutive win -- the second since practice squad linebacker Jerry Brown was killed in a one-car accident and nose tackle Josh Brent was charged with intoxication manslaughter. Dallas also beat Cincinnati on a last-second kick by Bailey less than 24 hours after learning about the tragedy.

It was the fifth win in their past six games for the Cowboys, once a disappointing mess at 3-5 but now in a first-place tie in the NFC East and in control of their playoff destiny.

The Cowboys (8-6) are tied atop the division with the New York Giants and Washington Redskins. They would win the NFC East title if they win their remaining two games against the New Orleans Saints at Cowboys Stadium on Sunday and at the Redskins in the season finale Dec. 30.

"Again, this bunch wouldn't, just would not quit," an ecstatic owner Jerry Jones said about his Cowboys, who won on a fourth-quarter or overtime comeback for the fifth time this season -- a complete opposite of last year, when they lost five games after blowing fourth-quarter leads.

"I'm just impressed," Jones said. "On top of that, dealing with the kinds of things we've been dealing with, I give them [credit], but I also give [coach] Jason [Garrett] a lot of credit in keeping everybody's eye on the ball and at the same time understanding what the important thing is, and that's to honor Jerry Brown's life and support each other during this tough time."

The Cowboys got the win with Brent on their sideline. He is out on bail while awaiting his trial. Garrett said the Cowboys asked Brent to be there and they followed the lead of Brown's mother, who pleaded with them to continue to support him.

It's that same support that the Cowboys have shown for each other during adverse times since the beginning of the season that has sparked the recent winning streak. It continued to play a huge role on Sunday when the Steelers took a 24-17 lead in the fourth quarter, much to the delight of a large, boisterous clan of Steelers fans at Cowboys Stadium.

A Cowboys team playing without seven defensive regulars, including six starters, because of injury, refused to lose.

A potentially back-breaking 22-yard punt return by Steelers receiver Antonio Brown early in the fourth quarter became a Cowboys break when linebacker Victor Butler forced a fumble and tight end John Phillips recovered at the Steelers' 44.

Quarterback Tony Romo started off with a 13-yard pass to receiver Dez Bryant, who played with a fractured index finger and scored in the third quarter. He then found tight end Jason Witten for 9 yards and receiver Dwayne Harris for 17, setting up a 3-yard touchdown run by DeMarco Murray.

The Cowboys' defense sacked Roethlisberger three times in the fourth quarter, with 1 1/2 by Anthony Spencer, setting up Carr's final heroics.

"It was just reaction and instinct," said Carr, who also keyed the win last week at Cincinnati with an interception. "That's how the whole season has been. We just keep fighting."

Clarence E. Hill Jr. 817-390-7760

Twitter: @clarencehilljr

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Thursday, October 23Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Thursday, October 23Full Scoreboard
Indiana 10/23 7:00 PM ET
Charlotte 
Philadelphia 10/23 7:30 PM ET
Detroit 
Dallas 10/23 8:00 PM ET
New Orleans 
Full Scoreboard
Week 8Full Scoreboard
Thursday
San Diego 8:25 PM ET
Denver TV: CBS/NFL Network
Sunday
Detroit 9:30 AM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Seattle 1:00 PM ET
Carolina TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Miami 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
St. Louis 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FOX
Chicago 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: FOX
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
NY Jets TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
Tennessee TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Oakland 4:25 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Indianapolis 4:25 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans TV: NBC
Monday
Washington 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Thursday, October 23Full Scoreboard
NY Islanders 10/23 7:00 PM ET
Boston TV: MSG+, NESN
Pittsburgh 10/23 7:30 PM ET
Detroit TV: SN360, ROOT-PIT, FSN-DET
Vancouver 10/23 8:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: NHLN, SN-VAN, FSN-MW
Chicago 10/23 8:00 PM ET
Nashville TV: CSN-CH, FSN-TN
Arizona 10/23 8:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FSN-AZ, FSN-N
Carolina 10/23 9:00 PM ET
Calgary TV: SPSO, SN-Flames
Buffalo 10/23 10:30 PM ET
Los Angeles TV: MSG-BUF, FSN-W
Columbus 10/23 10:30 PM ET
San Jose TV: FSN-OH, CSN-CA
Full Scoreboard