Steelers 24, Cowboys 20
-- The Dallas Cowboys spent a week comparing Pittsburgh Steelers rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to a young Dan Marino.
How about some Terry Bradshaw to go with it?
Roethlisberger completed 21 of 25 passes and two touchdowns, completing nine straight throws on the Steelers' last two scoring drives Sunday and 11 in one stretch, leading Pittsburgh to a 24-20 comeback win over the Cowboys.
Cowboys Coach Bill Parcells had warned his team about how good Roethlisberger could be. It was Parcells who compared him to Marino.
"He can flat-out play," said Steelers receiver Plaxico Burress. "I think Parcells was right."
Roethlisberger is the first rookie quarterback to go 4-0 since Phil Simms on the 1979 New York Giants. He also became the first Pittsburgh quarterback to win in Dallas since Bradshaw in 1982.
"He's got great poise," Parcells said. "I think he's going to be outstanding. I haven't changed my mind about that."
And while a rookie led the way, it was a timely Dallas fumble and a short touchdown from a Steelers old-timer that provided Pittsburgh (5-1) with the winning points.
The Cowboys (2-3) had the ball on the Steelers 47 and facing third down with a 20-17 lead with under three minutes left.
When Testaverde dropped back to pass, James Farrior, who had two sacks and caused two other fumbles, crashed through the line to knock the ball loose again. Kimo von Oelhoffen scooped it up and ran to the Dallas 24 to set up the winning drive.
The Steelers drove to the 2 and Jerome Bettis rumbled in for the final touchdown in the last minute.
"We made a mistake and it cost us big-time," Parcells said.
The Cowboys (2-3) had one last chance to win with some razzle-dazzle. Dallas covered 30 yards on a pass and lateral that moved the ball to the Pittsburgh 30 with one second left. But Testaverde's final throw into the end zone fell incomplete.
"That one big mistake at the end cost us," said Testaverde, who was 23 of 36 for 284 yards. "If we hold on to the ball, the worst case we punt and they have to go 80 yards for either a touchdown or a field goal to tie."
Farrior was grateful.
"We had a little present today," Farrior said. "But we'll take it and we appreciate it."
The Steelers have won four in a row. And it will be Roethlisberger, the cool rookie who stood in the pocket and made some tough throws against a rugged pass rush, who will be credited with guiding them to this one.
"I was trying not to get hurt," said Roethlisberger, who was sacked three times but avoided several others. "I was able to make some people miss and luckily I have the best receivers in the game."
Roethlisberger was sharp at the outset. After Richie Anderson capped the Cowboys' first drive with a 21-yard touchdown run, the Steelers marched downfield to tie it on Roethlisberger's five-yard pass to Burress.
In that one play, Roethlisberger showed more mobility than Marino ever did, scrambling out of the pocket to his right and slinging the ball to Burress an instant before Marcellus Wiley tackled him from behind.
The play excited the many Steelers fans sprinkled throughout Texas Stadium who waved their signature "Terrible Towels" with every first down.
"For a minute there I thought we were in Pittsburgh," said Cowboys linebacker Dexter Coakley. "It felt like it was a home game for them."