Ben Roethlisberger caught the Dallas Cowboys off guard. At least in DeMarcus Lawrence’s mind.
Roethlisberger found his inner Dan Marino late in Sunday’s game, faking a spike and lofting a perfect pass to Antonio Brown for a 15-yard touchdown. At the time, it appeared that may seal the game for the Steelers, but the Cowboys rallied in the final 42 seconds to pull off the stunning victory.
But that Roethlisberger play had everyone talking afterward.
“He [messed] us up on that,” Lawrence said. “I ain’t going to lie. He got us. He got us good, but I mean it was part of our win.”
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The secondary players, though, have a different take on it.
Cowboys reserve cornerback Leon McFadden, playing in place of Orlando Scandrick, had tight coverage on Brown, but not enough to prevent the touchdown.
“I’m not surprised by it. I was looking at him,” cornerback Brandon Carr said. “I was ready on my side. They have incredible chemistry. They’re aggressive. They’re two of the best to do it in this game right now and, at that time, you’ve got to be prepared, be ready at all times, never fall asleep with guys like that.”
Added safety Byron Jones: “Big Ben has some tricks up his sleeve, so when I was playing man coverage I knew he wasn’t just going to spike it and let it go like that. It was a ball play. [McFadden] played good defense, they just made a good throw and a good catch.”
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett agreed that McFadden had good defense, but the defensive line didn’t get any sort of pressure on Roethlisberger and were left standing around in disbelief.
“The quarterback made a great throw, Brown made a great catch,” Garrett said. “I thought we battled. We competed.”
Roethlisberger said he made the call, as the Cowboys “were reeling, we were moving them and wanted to take a shot at them.”
It worked out, although the Cowboys wiped away its significance with their final TD drive.