Lewis, Sanders join crowded injury list
By Ralph N. Paulk
Published: Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, 10:02 p.m.
ARLINGTON, Texas — The Steelers suffered two key injuries Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.
Cornerback Keenan Lewis aggravated an already injured hip and was replaced by Curtis Brown late in the fourth quarter. Lewis broke up a pass in the end zone but fell awkwardly on his hip.
Also, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders sustained a rib injury in the first quarter, and cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke left in the opening quarter with a shoulder injury and did not return.
• Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo consistently targeted Steelers undrafted free-agent cornerback Josh Victorian, who started for the injured Cortez Allen (who was replacing the injured Ike Taylor). Miles Austin, targeted 10 times, made six of his seven catches with Victorian giving chase. Victorian started ahead of Brown, who was pressed into duty for the injured Lewis.
• Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, whose overtime interception paved the way to victory for the Cowboys, made one awe-inspiring play to keep the Steelers within striking distance after they fell behind, 10-0. Roethlisberger made three pump fakes in buying time to launch a 30-yard scoring pass to tight end Heath Miller to tie the score, 10-10, with 34 seconds left in the second quarter.
• It's been a struggle for the Steelers in the first quarter. The offense hasn't scored a touchdown in the opening 15 minutes of the past three games. But it's not as if Dallas didn't try to help. The Cowboys missed two turnover opportunities, and the Steelers won a challenge when Dallas appeared to recover a Sanders fumble, which was ruled an incomplete pass.
• The Cowboys have had trouble holding onto the football in the red zone. They committed a turnover for the fifth time inside the opponent's 20-yard line when linebacker James Harrison stripped DeMarco Murray of the ball, and Brett Keisel recovered at the 8. The Steelers haven't given the ball away in the red zone this season.
• Romo reached the 4,000-yard passing mark for the fourth time in his career. No other Cowboys quarterback — Roger Staubach or Troy Aikman — did it more than once.
• Miller made his 400th career catch early in the second quarter to give the Steelers a first down at the Dallas 49.
— Ralph N. Paulk
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