It’s here now. It’s time. Time for some Pittsburgh Steelers football!
Kicking off in one hour, the Pittsburgh Steelers will compete in the very first game of the NFL preseason since 2019 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. They will lineup against the Dallas Cowboys, who the Steelers squeaked out a win against last November in Dallas. This game is more lighthearted for fans and seasoned veterans alike as most are guaranteed to make the roster. For others, this is a tryout. Clawing to put together performances to impress coaches enough for a roster spot, an opportunity stolen from them during the COVID-19 shortened preseason.
Cowboys notable offseason addition: LB, Keanu Neal S, Damontae Kazee, S, Jayron Kearse, DE, Tarell Basham
Cowboys notable draft picks: LB, Micah Parsons, CB, Kelvin Joseph, LB, Jabril Cox, WR, Simi Fehoko
As I mentioned, it’s likely many veterans sit out for both teams in this extra preseason game.
Here are Dave Bryan’s predictions for the Steelers:
We can add rookie tight end, Pat Freiermuth, to this list as he appears not dressed after an apparent shoulder injury at Tuesday’s practice. A shame as he’s been generating a lot of buzz thus far in camp.
Although he’s not playing tonight, it sure is nice to see Ben Roethlisberger walk into a stadium again.
A first look at the Steelers’ first-round draft pick, Najee Harris, in his official Steelers uniform.
Bill Cowher, Troy Polamalu, Donnie Shell, Alan Faneca, and Bill Nunn were all getting big cheers from the Yinzer-heavy crowd during their Hall of Fame introductions before the game.
The Steelers won the first coin toss of 2021 and they’ve deferred.
Anthony McFarland Jr. was back to return the opening kickoff and took a knee in the end zone for the touchback.
Steelers’ first drive on offense starts out with a few first downs but ends with a fumbled handoff on a jet sweep between Mason Rudolph and Chase Claypool. The growing pains of the Matt Canada offensive scheme.
Pittsburgh’s first time on defense they allow three first downs, two being on third down before stalling out the Cowboys inside the ten. The drive is highlighted by an Alex Highsmith sack after a sweet inside spin move to get himself free.
Cowboys convert the chip-shot field goal. Cowboys 3-0.
Najee Harris has looked as advertised so far through two drives. Another promising drive ends around mid-field. This time due to a Chase Claypool third-down drop on a slant route. Rudolph led him across the middle and it bounced off his hands.
Pressley Harvin pins Dallas at their ten with no return on his first punt.
And the clock hits 00:00 on the first quarter after a 3rd & 12 conversion by the Cowboys. Ulysees Gilbert II missed the tackle on the tight end to allow the first down.
Cowboys drive down inside the 15. Finish off the drive with a 3rd-down strip sack by Cassius Marsh that is recovered by Dallas. That is followed up by a blocked field goal. Still 3-0 Cowboys.
Mason Rudolph connects on a 45-yard bomb to Chase Claypool. He’s slow to get up, looked like he landed on the ball. Hopefully just got the air knocked out of him.
Steelers’ first attempt at points is a 49-yard field goal attempt by Sam Sloman. He pushes it WIDE right, never had a chance. Cowboys still lead 3-0.
Cowboys have been killing the Steelers all night on play-action boots. Defense having trouble covering guys with late releases to the flat.
The cornerback position battle continues. Back-to-back plays, James Pierre breaks up a slant route on 3rd & 15. He’s been beaten on a few in-breaking routes earlier in the game, nice to see an adjustment. Cowboys go for it on 4th and actually complete it past the sticks on Justin Layne, but he continues to punch at the ball after the catch and forces it out. Fumble recovered by Antoine Brooks.
Dwayne Haskins entered the game with about four minutes left in the first half. Not much to say about his first drive, went one for three for nine yards and a scramble.
Pressley Harvin III follows up his first punt with an absolute diamond, pinning the Cowboys at their own one-yard line.
Isaiah Buggs keeps the Dallas’ drive alive on third-down with a roughing the passer. He’s looked good other than that play as the starting defensive tackle.
With six seconds left, the Cowboys attempt another field goal. This one is so far wide right that it hits the play clock.
A kneel-down by Haskins ends the half, Cowboys 3 Steelers 0.