In what can only be described as ‘America’s Game’ this week, ‘America’s Team’ the Dallas Cowboys, welcome ‘America’s Wanna Be’ team, the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. This is one of those classic football games we only get every so often and we all love to watch.
The Cowboys are coming off an emotional win last week and the Steelers are coming off of a letdown, so it’s possible that we may see a reversal in this game. Both teams need a win to stay in playoff position but only one will leave with the victory, hopefully.
If Dallas wants to win this game there are only two real keys to the game. Sure there are other things both teams need to do/avoid but all of that comes from these two main keys for success, get pressure on Ben Roethlisberger and protect Tony Romo. Everything both teams do will revolve around those two things.
The Cowboys offensive line has not been good this year and the Pittsburgh Steelers can get after the quarterback. Protecting Tony Romo is the biggest concern for the Cowboys this week. If the Cowboys can keep Romo relatively clean in the pocket, he will have his choice of receivers to throw to down the field. The Steelers are without Ike Taylor and Troy Polamalu isn’t fully healthy so the Cowboys should have no trouble throwing on the Steelers defense.
One of the keys to keeping Romo healthy in this game is to commit to the running game. DeMarco Murray didn’t have great stats last week but he ran hard and the commitment to the run helped the Cowboys be successful. It doesn’t always have to be pretty for the Dallas run game but if it can run the ball enough to be effective, it can help keep the pass rush off of Tony Romo. We know he’s going to get pressured but lesser is better.
On defense, the Cowboys need to pressure Big Ben. The Steelers will patch together their offensive line because of injury again this week and the Cowboys need to make life uncomfortable for Roethlisberger. If the defense can pressure the quarterback it would make life easier on the secondary that could be without Morris Claiborne. Being aggressive and pressuring Big Ben could force the Steelers into being one dimensional and that always helps the defense.
It goes without saying the key word for this game is pressure. Whoever puts the most of it on the other will force turnovers and win the game. If the Cowboys want to win this important game the formula is simple, keep pressure off of Tony Rom and put pressure on Ben Roethlisberger.
you can chat with or follow Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi