Steelers-Cowboys halftime notes

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

PITTSBURGH--The Steelers and Dallas Cowboys are tied 3-3 at halftime of this defensive struggle at Heinz Field.

Here are some first-half observations:

  • For two teams expected to contend for a Super Bowl, this has been a very sloppy game through two quarters. Both sides have combined for six turnovers, which include a pair of fumbles from quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Tony Romo. Neither signal caller is playing particularly well, but you also have to give both defenses credit.

  • Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor is doing a tremendous job of containing Dallas receiver Terrell Owens in the first half. Owens has zero catches thus far and Taylor had an interception in the second quarter that set up Pittsburgh's only field goal. The Steelers are also helping over the top and keeping defenders around Owens when playing zone.

  • Pittsburgh outside linebacker James Harrison earned a key third-down sack and tied Pittsburgh's single-season record for 15 in a season. Former Steelers Mike Merriweather also recorded 15 sacks in 1984, but Harrison likely will break that mark with three games remaining.

  • Pittsburgh's punting woes continue. Mitch Berger, who is in his second stint with the Steelers this season, hit just one good punt in the entire first half and is costing Pittsburgh field position with nearly every attempt.