<
>

Bizarro world: Cowboys showing Steelers how to win

PITTSBURGH -- You have to love the NFL.

The Dallas Cowboys, long a dual source of dysfunction and drama, are providing a blueprint for the Pittsburgh Steelers, long a model of stability and success.

Don’t laugh.

The Cowboys are 5-1, and if they are not the best team in the NFL after beating the Seahawks in Seattle they are at least the most surprising one.

They are suddenly winning in the big ‘D’ with a defense that is playing better than the sum of its parts and an offense that is performing up to expectations.

What a concept.

Why can’t the Steelers do the same?

Actually, the more appropriate question is why haven’t the Steelers been doing the same?

The Cowboys are fourth in the NFL in scoring (27.5 points per game) and they just hung 30 points on the defending Super Bowl champions on the road.

Their offense is thriving because it has a franchise quarterback in Tony Romo, the NFL’s best running back in DeMarco Murray, a top-five wide receiver in Dez Bryant, a productive tight end in Jason Witten, and one of the best offensive lines in the league.

The Cowboys are averaging 398.7 yards per game. The Steelers are averaging 396.5 yards per game.

The Steelers have a similar foundation in place on offense, which is why it is head-scratching and inexcusable that they are 26th in the NFL with 20.7 seven points per game.

What if the Steelers can figure some things out in a red-zone offense that has been inept? What if the Steelers can simplybecome average when they are inside opponents’ 20-yard line?

If that happens they should average closer to 30 than 20 points per game -- just like the Cowboys.

Again, don't laugh.

That scenario is much more plausible than a defense that is largely devoid of impact players leading a turnaround for the Steelers in a season where a 3-3 record has more of a 1-5 feel to it.