Just imagine this. Two players on the Dallas Cowboys roster are in a fierce competition for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. And their names are EZEKIEL ELLIOTT and DAK PRESCOTT. And one of them (Elliott) may have stepped out in front of the other for the aforementioned rookie honor.
Elliott had 209 yards total offense and 3 scores today with one of those scores being a game-winning 32 yard touchdown run up the middle which gave the Cowboys a 35-30 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field.
Dallas (8-1) has seriously got them a superstar on their hands in Elliott. He slashed and dashed today for 114 yards on 21 carries and 2 scores versus one of the toughest run defenses in the NFL this year in the Pittsburgh defense.
With his performance today, he now has 1,005 yards rushing this season. Elliott is the first Cowboys rookie running back to gain 1,000 yards rushing in a season since 1994 Hall of Fame enshrinee TONY DORSETT accomplished the feat back in 1977 when he gained 1,007 yards.
Prescott was also a thorn in the Steelers’ (4-5) side, as his arm and his athleticism made it hard for the Steelers to ever think that they had him in check. He went 22 of 32 for 319 yards and 2 scoring passes on the day. With today’s performance and for the wins he has engineered since Week 2, it shouldn’t be hard to for the Cowboys coaching staff or owner JERRY JONES to see who should be their starting quarterback for the rest of 2016.
Moving on, Pittsburgh’s LE’VEON BELL put the first points on the board for each team when he beat Cowboys free safety J.J. WILCOX for a back of the end zone 2-yard touchdown reception. After a missed two-point conversion passing attempt, the Steelers had a 6-0 lead with 9:54 left in the first quarter. Bell finished with 17 carries for 57 yards and 1 score.
Pittsburgh furthered their lead when receiver ELI ROGERS got a little behind the Cowboys defense for a 3-yard touchdown reception. Rogers’ second touchdown catch of the season gave his team an eventual 12-3 lead late in the first quarter.
But Elliott furthered his status as the hottest rookie of the 2016 NFL Draft class, when he took a Prescott screen pass down the right sideline for an untouched 83-yard touchdown play. That play cut the Steelers’ lead to 12-10 with just twelve seconds left in the first quarter.
The Cowboys put together a big defensive end stand——-early in the third quarter——-on a drive that included a 39-yard reception by Steelers receiver COBI HAMILTON to the DAL 35-yard line, plus a pass interference penalty on Cowboy cornerback ANTHONY BROWN that gave the Steelers the ball at the DAL 7-yard line. Amid all that, the Steelers were only able to get a CHRIS BOSWELL 25-yard field goal which gave Pittsburgh an 18-13 lead early in the third quarter.
The Cowboys gained the lead again, when DEZ BRYANT got behind rookie cornerback ARTIE BURNS for a down the left sideline 50-yard scoring play. At the 1:35 mark of the third quarter the Cowboys had a 23-18 advantage. Bryant had 6 catches for 116 yards and 1 score for the day.
Bell gave his team the lead, when he took a Roethlisberger handoff and ran to his right where he ended up extending his right arm from near the 1-yard line—–the football in that arm——into the end zone. With 7:51 left in the game the Steelers took a 24-23 lead.
Elliott got into the end zone again, when he took a Prescott handoff and sprinted down the right side and then into the end zone for a 14-yard score. With just 1:55 to go in the game the Cowboys took an eventual 29-24 lead (the two-point conversion pass failed).
But not too long after that Elliott touchdown run, BEN ROETHLISBERGER (37 of 46 for 408 yards and 3 scores) showed once again why he’s a superstar in Pittsburgh. On 1st and 10 from the DAL 15-yard line, he got behind center and then took the snap. The quarterback then faked like he was going to spike the ball with him rolling to his right a bit where he unleashed a pass that eventually fell into the hands of receiver ANTONIO BROWN (14 catches for 154 yards and 1 score).
With 42 seconds left in the game the score moved to 30-29 Pittsburgh in the lead. At the time that Brown scoring play looked like the game-winning score but Elliott and the Cowboys had other plans.
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