View Full Version : Steelers-Cowboys a five-star showdown

12-04-2008, 10:28 AM


Whenever the Pittsburgh Steelers play the Dallas Cowboys, it's a five-star showdown. But there's another showdown looming among NFL Defensive Player of the Year candidates James Harrison and DeMarcus Ware. Read below for the breakdown:

PITTSBURGH – A linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers approached his offensive line this week and asked for help in deciding the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year showdown on Sunday. That linebacker was not James Harrison.

“Nope,” said Harrison. “There’s no matchup between me and DeMarcus Ware; just my team against his team. That’s all that really matters.”

The Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys are two of the NFL’s elite teams, so it’s no surprise that both teams are led by the league’s top Defensive Player of the Year candidates in Harrison and Ware.

The Steelers have two more sacks than the Cowboys to lead the league, while Ware leads Harrison by one sack at the top of the NFL leader board. Ware has 15 sacks and needs one to tie Randy White’s team record set in 1978. Harrison has 14 sacks and needs one to tie Mike Merriweather’s team record set in 1984. Of course, the record’s meaningless to Harrison.

“I don’t think about it at all,” he said. “If I don’t get another sack the rest of the year and we win all four games, I’ll be very happy.”

It was an obvious answer, considering Harrison’s disdain for discussing the “showdown” with Ware. But it has taken on a modicum of importance to his Steelers teammates.

“Mike Tomlin always says we have five-star matchups with these good teams, but this is a five-star matchup with two individuals,” said James Farrior. “Man, those are two guys that are just wreaking havoc in the NFL right now. It’ll be fun watching those two guys. I already told our offensive line we need help trying to get ‘Deebo’ on top of that sack list.”

Max Starks is the Steelers’ left tackle. It’ll be his job to block Ware and help Harrison, who’s known as “Deebo” to teammates because of a menacing countenance similar to the so-named villain in the “Friday” movie.

“I can definitely help my fellow teammate gain a leg up on the competition,” Starks said. “There are still four games left, but this is a major game, one I’m sure a lot of voters are going to be watching.” Starks has watched enough of Ware to make a comparison between the two players.

“From what I’ve seen of Ware thus far, he’s a good, agile player,” Starks said. “Even though they’re similar in their style, the striking difference is DeMarcus uses his size to his advantage because he’s a taller, lankier player than James, whereas James is more compact and that makes it tougher to block James.”

Starks stands 6-feet-8 while Harrison is listed at 6-feet. Starks has commented several times over the last five years that it’s difficult for him to get low enough to block Harrison in practice.

Flozell Adams, the Cowboys’ left tackle who’ll attempt to block Harrison, is 6-feet-7. Does Adams know what he’s in for on Sunday?

“He has no idea,” Starks said. “I don’t care how many times you go against DeMarcus Ware (6-4, 262) in practice, you can’t prepare for a James Harrison-type of player because he’s an outlier. If you’re looking at norms on a graph, he’s definitely an outlier. You’re not used to seeing that size, that power, that agility all compacted in there. He’s definitely going to be a test for him because for taller players he is a nightmare since you’re forced to get in an uncomfortable position to block him.”

Both teams play 3-4 base defenses, so it’s no surprise that both blind-side pass-rushers lead their teams in sacks. But Harrison forces more turnovers than Ware. The Steelers’ ROLB has forced six fumbles and intercepted a pass this season. Ware hasn’t intercepted a pass, and according to NFL.com he’s forced only two fumbles. The site also lists Harrison with 18 more tackles than Ware. Harrison also has a safety.

“They’re both amazing athletes,” said Farrior. “It’s going to be fun. Hopefully it’ll be more fun for us.”

Would love to see "Deebo" win the DPOY award. He is without a doubt the leader of this team as evident by his teamates voting him the MVP last year and not Ben. This should be a great game!

:towelwave: :steelersflag4:

12-04-2008, 10:41 AM
http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/9119/pissondallasik8.jpg (http://imageshack.us)


12-04-2008, 10:44 AM
Great article. :yellowthumb:
If I get any more pumped up for this game, i will need oxygen. :cope: :lol:

12-04-2008, 11:04 AM

Dean Denton
12-04-2008, 03:07 PM
Gay!!! I hate hype. Ware cheats anyways. He is going to try and Steal Romo away from Jessica.

--- Added 12/4/2008 at 02:07 PM ---

There guys have been in three SB against eachother, so when ever they get together its got history,and a pretty good story behind it. I think its the biggest AFC VS NFC rivalry, with no other teams being all that close. Their games are great, and this year should be no different. The last time these two teams met it was high drama, and I think this game will be the same. There is a lot riding on this game, and really both of these teams have there playoffs riding on this. The Cowboys could be bounced from the playoffs with a loss, and the Steelers could drop from a 2 seed to a 6th seed or even struggle to make it in without help if they fail to win. So to think both teams dont have a tone of pressure is crazy. They both need this game big time, and it should be game of the week.

12-04-2008, 08:24 PM
It's a 5 star matchup alright; both teams are loaded with talent in key positions so the team that makes the fewest mistakes is going to be the winner here. It's the Cowboys vs Steelers; a matchup that really sky rocketed in the 70's and now is reborn again when both teams are playing pretty well. Not since Super Bowl XXX have we seen both teams being successful and meeting in a game like this. Dallas is fighting for their playoff lives; we fighting to stay in the division and for that 2nd seed in the playoffs. There's a lot at stake this week make no mistake so it should be fun to watch.

12-04-2008, 09:11 PM
If you believe in the tradition ,and you believe in the team and our coach.............this team will win with attrition,whether by the defense,or offense. Special teams could easily win this game. We are a team.....to win we must play like the team we want to be.We are a group of winners. We always have been, and i don't see that changing in Pittsburgh any time soon. We have come too far now to let #6 elude us any longer. Coach Mike preached..."attrition" ........we have the chance to witness it this Sun. at our own house. Man i am pumped for this game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12-04-2008, 09:43 PM
Just about every phase of the team this has lived up to Tomlin's preaching about atrrition, except the offensive line. These guys have struggled big time through the first 2 months of the season however in the last month they have played better, mainly the interior 3 who have really started to gel and become a solid group. Im not sold on Colon or Starks at all who both get owned by speed rushers so I expect to see some serious TE help or RB's chips on the outside guys in pass protection.

The last 2 weeks both guys have played better so I do have to give them credit but the biggest tests are yet to come.

12-04-2008, 10:10 PM
All i am saying "Top" is that the Defense we face does not know what we are going to do as far as game planning. The whole league knows our defense.They are not that familiar with our offense, for as far as that can go,niether am i. The special teams has got to get the credit they are due,if you factor all three phases of the game. We should just walk away with a pretty proud win for our boys. The ones wearing "black and gold" that is. Never overlook special teams. The X factor if you will.

12-04-2008, 10:16 PM
I give the ST all the credit in the world for doing a complete 180 from last season. The coverage units are outstanding and we finally found our return guys in Russel and Holmes.

Nobody is that familiar with our offense mainly because they have no identity..LOL. They have all the talent in the world and really need to keep on this hot streak they've had for the last 3 weeks. Getting the running game in gear is a top priority; Im anxious to see them establish the run and be able to keep that pass rush at bay by having Parker and Moore be able to really make a difference. If these guys can just get and stay consistent this team can be scary good, I mean seriously topnotch in all 3 phases. We are already there on Defense and well on our way on ST; now the offense needs to continue to improve.

12-04-2008, 10:46 PM
The thing that has me so pumped up is the fact that no team knows if we are going to try the run,or are we going to try and pass on thier d-fense. We have not shown nothing yet. Or very little. Lets face it ,being Steeler fans,we don't even know either. We know we have an option to dictate what thier offense does. We have been doing that all season thus far. I have read a lot of articles saying that the defense could lapse. If,and i do say if,that were to happen,who would have to be the next unit to step up? I would say the offense. Backed up by the special teams. I feel that we have a complete team,and they have the chance to make thier "own" mark on our legacy. If you are a team facing "us" this time of year,then more power to ya. We have "drive". We have players that want to win,and have won before. This could be the team that we were looking for all season long. Don't need to show nuthin...,just go out and kick some Dallas Butt!!!!!!!!!!!!The rest will fall into place.

12-05-2008, 10:16 AM
All I know is I don't want to see a lot of empty back field sets in this game unless it is to set up a WR/TE screen. Their pass rush is too good for our OT's to give Ben a pocket for very long. Arian's is the X-factor as far as I'm concerned.

12-05-2008, 11:01 AM
I picked the Steelers in a blowout in the poll on the front page. Here is why:

Demarcus Ware (bad knee) - It will be very tough to make it through this game on a bad knee. He will be getting blocked by Max Starks or Kemo all day and these guys aren't small and they aren't cupcakes. If we get the run game established it will be a long day for Ware. This defense has given up 90 more points than ours. We have only had 4 teams breach the 20 point mark all year, they have had 7. Four of the games their opponents scored more than 30 points.

Marion Barber (bad toe) - How long will a back with a gimpy foot last against the leagues #1 defense? If he goes out they not only lose their best rushing threat but their best blocking back too. IMO if Barber gets hurt early it makes their team one dimensional and it will be a long day for Tony Homo. He hasn't practiced all week and will be a game time decision whether he even plays. If he can't play - this game won't be close. The Steelers D would be able to pin its ears back and go after Romo on every play.

Our offense has started to show signs of life and the offensive line has started to play better the last few games. You know the defense will show up, they are the strength of this team. Couple the ailing stars for Dallas and the sloppy field and cold weather conditions and I smell a can of whop *** coming. :yesnod:

12-06-2008, 05:28 PM

By DAVID THOMASdthomas@star-telegram.com

I had the weirdest dream. It was like dreaming forward and backward at the same time.

But, I guess, if anything is going to cause any weird dreams this week, it’s the looming matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers. Hey, as important as this game is for the Cowboys’ playoff chances, most Cowboys fans would probably be happy just to be able to sleep long enough to have a weird dream.

Anyway, the Cowboys were playing the Steelers in my dream, and it was a HUGE game. Almost like a Super Bowl.

On the pregame shows, all they talked about was Cowboys linebacker Bradie James saying Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger "couldn’t spell 'cat’ if you spotted him the 'c’ and the 'a.’ "

The Cowboys started the game by driving into Steelers territory, but turned the ball over when Terrell Owens fumbled the handoff from Marion Barber on what was supposed to be a reverse pass. Pittsburgh promptly marched downfield and took a 7-0 lead on Roethlisberger’s pass to Santonio Holmes.

It was 7-7 when a play you could only dream up occurred. Roethlisberger collided with Willie Parker in the backfield, and the ball popped loose.

Big Ben picked up the ball and scrambled right. DeMarcus Ware grabbed Roethlisberger and Greg Ellis stole the ball from the quarterback and took off for a stunning touchdown and a 14-7 Cowboys lead.

That lead was short-lived. On Pittsburgh’s next possession, Holmes caught a short pass, broke an attempted tackle by Pacman Jones and raced 75 or 80 yards for a tying touchdown. The Steelers then went up 21-14 right before halftime.

It was a great game, and the defenses really started dominating in the third quarter.

I will never forget what happened next in my dream. I can still see it like it is an NFL Films highlight or something.

The Cowboys were in the Steelers’ red zone, at the 10, poised for the tying score. On third down, Tony Romo dropped back and threw a pass over the middle to backup tight end Martellus Bennett, who was all alone in the end zone. Bennett slid to the ground to make the catch. And then ... he dropped the ball.

"Aw, bless his heart," I could hear Brad Sham say on the radio. "He’s got to be the sickest man in America." Maybe so, but I’ll never forgive Bennett.

Dallas had to settle for a field goal and trailed 21-17.

Then the Cowboys got robbed. Their "Phillips Doomsday III-IV" defense was on the verge of stopping Pittsburgh when Terence Newman and Steelers receiver Hines Ward collided on a pass play and fell to the turf. The ref closest to the play waved incomplete. The ref watching from Egypt, or some place possibly even farther away, threw his flag. It was obvious incidental contact! If anything, Ward tripped over Newman!

But Pittsburgh got the pass interference call and scored, then scored again for a 35-17 lead.

The Cowboys didn’t quit, though. Romo threw a short touchdown pass to Jason Witten with less than 3 minutes remaining, the Cowboys recovered an onside kick, and Romo threw a touchdown pass to Roy Williams with 22 seconds left.

But one last onside-kick attempt failed, and that was it. Steelers 35, Cowboys 31. End of dream.

Was that game basically the end of the Cowboys’ dream season? I think I’ll go take a nap to find out.

12-07-2008, 12:30 AM
Dude i hope your dream comes true. Very seldom do we have our dreams work out the we dream. I am with ya on this one. You could have dreamed a blow-out . Learn how to dream big "Steel Brother". LOL!!!!!!

12-07-2008, 08:23 AM
Dude i hope your dream comes true. Very seldom do we have our dreams work out the we dream. I am with ya on this one. You could have dreamed a blow-out . Learn how to dream big "Steel Brother". LOL!!!!!!

He's a writer for a Dallas paper having nightmares from 30 years ago! :)

Me on the other hand I don't dream I much perfer to live in reality:

Steelers 38
Cowboys 13