Two teams with a lot of history, Super Bowl-level history, will meet Sunday at Heinz Field.
Yet, it’s all about the here and now for the Dallas Cowboys (7-1) and Pittsburgh Steelers (4-4).
Both are looking for a push toward the playoffs in different ways.
Dallas is trying to keep its seven-game winning streak alive.
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Pittsburgh is trying to build some momentum.
Here are five things to watch in Sunday’s game:
Signs are pointing to the Cowboy not activating quarterback Tony Romo for this game, but Jason Garrett didn’t tip his hand all week. The Romo watch is on with him on the mend from a compression fracture in his lower back. He had a full week of practice for the first time since being diagnosed with the injury in late August, and is listed as “questionable.”
The ground game
Ezekiel Elliott has been everything the Cowboys could have hoped for when they selected him fourth overall, as he leads the league in rushing at the midway point. But the Steelers have held opponents to less than a 100-yard average, and the Cowboys will have their hands full in getting their ground attack going. Running the ball well has been a constant for the Cowboys during their seven-game winning streak.
Slowing Big Ben
Ben Roethlisberger is on track to end up in the Hall of Fame, and is arguably one of the toughest quarterbacks to bring down. The Cowboys’ defensive line understands the challenges ahead. The pass rushers have gotten to the quarterback better of late, with 12 sacks in their past four games, and need to keep that pressure on the rise.
The Steelers have a potent offense that can get hot in a moment. The Cowboys can’t let Pittsburgh’s stars get going early. That means playing good run defense to contain Le’Veon Bell, and not allowing All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown to break loose. Of course, that’s easier said than done.
This game brings back memories. The Cowboys and Steelers are the only teams to have met three times in the Super Bowl (Pittsburgh is 2-1). More than half of the 31 meetings between the teams have been decided by less than a touchdown, including 11 by four points or fewer. Vegas feels this game will be close once again, setting the line at 2 1/2.
Cowboys at Steelers
3:25 p.m. Sunday, Fox (KDFW/4)