Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys vs. Steelers preview: Teams on a different pace at midseason

Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys begin the second half of the season with a 7-1 record.
Rookie quarterback Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys begin the second half of the season with a 7-1 record. rmallison@star-telegram.com

The halfway point of the season has the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers on the move at different speeds.

For the Cowboys, the second half of the season begins with a surprising 7-1 record, including a seven-game winning streak. They share a league-best seven wins along with New England (7-1) and Oakland (7-2).

The Cowboys are working their magic behind the play of rookie quarterback Dak Prescott, rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott and a maturing defense, which has produced two four-sack games this season.

For the Steelers, it’s been a mixed bag season that has been altered with the left knee injury and surgery to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who missed three games.

Running back Le’Veon Bell has 659 scrimmage yards (131.8 per game, second in the NFL) in five games this season since coming off suspension. Playmaking wide receiver Antonio Brown has 55 catches for 677 yards and six touchdowns. He is particularly lethal in home games where he has 98 catches and 11 touchdowns in the past 12 games at Heinz Field.

At 4-4, the Steelers know there’s plenty of football left. They have the same record at the midway point as they did last season.

Since 2000, 40 teams have reached the halfway point of their season with a .500 or below winning percentage and advanced to the playoffs, including at least one in each season. Last year, there were five teams. They were Houston (3-5), Kansas City (3-5), Washington (3-5), Seattle (4-4) and the Steelers (4-4).

Statistical comparisons

 

Cowboys

Steelers

Record

7-1

4-4

Scoring average

27.8

23.0

Opp. Scoring average

17.5

21.3

Total offense

411.5

360.4

Rushing

165.3

96.0

Passing

246.3

264.4

Total defense

332.9

375.6

Turnover margin

+5

-1

Penalties/yards

51-406

55-439

Dallas Cowboys regular-season schedule

Sept. 11

Giants 20, Cowboys 19

Sept. 18

Cowboys 27, Redskins 23

Sept. 25

Cowboys 31, Bears 17

Oct. 2

Cowboys 24, 49ers 17

Oct. 9

Cowboys 28, Bengals 14

Oct. 16

Cowboys 30, Packers 16

Oct. 23

Bye

Oct. 30

Cowboys 29, Eagles 23, OT

Nov. 6

Cowboys 35, Browns 10

Nov. 13

at Pittsburgh

3:25 p.m.

KDFW/4

Nov. 20

vs. Baltimore

Noon

KTVT/11

Nov. 24

vs. Washington

3:30 p.m.

KDFW/4

Dec. 1

at Minnesota

7:25 p.m.

KXAS/5, NFL Net.

and Twitter

Dec. 11

at NY Giants

7:30 p.m.

KXAS/5

Dec. 18

vs. Tampa Bay

Noon

KDFW/4

Dec. 26

vs. Detroit

7:30 p.m.

ESPN

Jan. 1

at Philadelphia

Noon

KDFW/4

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram

  Comments