(The Sports Xchange) – Ezekiel Elliott ran 32 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with nine seconds remaining — his second score in a frantic final two minutes — and the Dallas Cowboys rallied for a 35-30 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in a dramatic renewal of their decades-long rivalry on Sunday.
In a remarkable game in which the lead changed hands three times in the final two minutes and four times in the fourth quarter, Elliott ran for two touchdowns and also scored on an 83-yard screen pass as the Cowboys (8-1) won their eighth in a row.
The Steelers (4-5) dropped their fourth in a row despite Ben Roethlisberger’s 408 yards passing and three touchdowns.
Just 34 seconds before Elliott ran through the middle of the Steelers defense, Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown (14 catches, 254 yards) for a 15-yard touchdown pass against an unprepared Dallas defense to seemingly give the Steelers a 30-29 win.
But a few seconds remained, and a few seconds were all that were needed multiple times in a back-and-forth game in which the Steelers could not hold leads of 12-3, 15-13, 24-23 and 30-29. Dallas gave up leads of 13-12, 23-18 and 29-24.
Elliott’s second touchdown of the game, a 14-yard run in which he was untouched, put Dallas up 29-23 with 1:55 remaining, but Roethlisberger picked on a decimated Dallas secondary to find tight end Jesse James for 24 yards and Le’Veon Bell for 23 immediately ahead of the Brown score.
Roethlisberger went up to the line of scrimmage quickly and appeared to be faking a spike attempt, only to rise up and hit Brown open in the end zone.
But Dak Prescott, in his first 300-yard passing game — he was 22 of 32 for 319 yards and two touchdowns — needed only five plays to come back win it in one of the NFL’s classic games of the season.
The Cowboys have won eight in a row only one other time, in 1977.
Bell also caught a 2-yard scoring pass and ran 1 yard for yet another go-ahead score midway through the fourth quarter.
In a back-and-forth, physical game seemingly better suited for January than November, an emotional Dez Bryant, playing hours after his father died, caught a 50-yard touchdown pass from Prescott that put the Cowboys (7-2) ahead 23-18 late in the third quarter, but Brown’s 22-yard punt return and 20-yard catch set up Bell’s TD run with 7:56 remaining.
That was only the beginning of one of the NFL’s most dramatic fourth quarters in seasons.
In a game that renewed a sporadic but real rivalry between two long-successful franchises that have met in three Super Bowls, the Steelers had four missed 2-point conversions that ended up proving costly.
(Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes)