Tony Dorsett idolized the Pittsburgh Steelers as a child growing up in Pennsylvania, but the Dallas Cowboys running back made NFL history against his boyhood heroes today.
Dorsett, who entered the game needing 31 yards to join the 10,000-yard career rushing club, passed the milestone as he led the Cowboys to a 27-13 victory, rushing for 113 yards and scoring two touchdowns.
He capped the day with 5:27 left to play when he reversed direction and scored on a 35-yard run.
"It was a patented Dorsett move," said Dorsett. "They tried to cut me off, so I just cut back across the field. Even (quarterback) Danny White threw a block.
"It's a thrill to reach 10,000 yards, particularly against the Steelers," Dorsett said. "I followed the black and gold when I was young, and if I had to write a script, I would write it getting the mark against them."
Dorsett grew up in Aliquippa, Pa., just 30 miles from Pittsburgh.
Dallas Coach Tom Landry said, "It was just a tremendous accomplishment. I was glad to see him do it in the fashion he did it. He made some amazing plays out there. And he made a great catch on the touchdown pass from Danny. Nobody seems to know he is also a good receiver."
Dorsett called his 56-yard touchdown pass reception from White "my secret weapon. Coach Landry told me to go deep and not hook back like I usually do on that play. It worked."
Pittsburgh Coach Chuck Noll said, "Dorsett had a great day, and he's to be congratulated for reaching such a milestone."
The Cowboys' first victory over the Steelers since 1972 increased their NFC East-leading record to 5-1, and the Steelers of the AFC Central fell to 2-4.
Dorsett joined Walter Payton, Jim Brown, Franco Harris, O.J. Simpson and the Washington Redskins' John Riggins in the 10,000-yard club on a 19-yard run with 6:16 left in the third period.
The former Heisman Trophy winner from the University of Pittsburgh accepted the applause of the sellout crowd of 62,932.
Dorsett, who carried the ball 21 times, finished the game with a career total of 10,082 yards, but was held to three yards on nine carries in the first half.
However, the second-quarter White-to-Dorsett touchdown pass erased a 3-0 Steelers lead that had came on Gary Anderson's 48-yard field goal.
Dallas led by 10-3 at halftime after Rafael Septien made a 38-yard field goal with five seconds left.
Septien's 39-yard field goal and linebacker Eugene Lockhart's 19-yard interception return off David Woodley gave Dallas a 20-3 lead in the third period.
After another Anderson field goal, Woodley completed a 69-yard pass to Calvin Sweeney to set up Walter Abercrombie's one-yard scoring run.
Dallas is 41-2 in games in which Dorsett has rushed for at least 100 yards.
Dorsett also had 82 yards receiving for a total offense of 195 yards.
The Steelers fought back late in the game, but Woodley's pass into the end zone with two minutes left was intercepted by Dennis Thurman.
White completed 25 of 36 passes for 269 yards. The Steelers' starting quarterback, Mark Malone hit seven of 17 passes for 83 yards before he was replaced in the second half. Woodley hit six of 23 passes for 154 yards and was intercepted three times.