Dak set to visit Big Ben as rolling Cowboys travel to Pittsburgh
FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Dak Prescott is on a rookie roll in Dallas not unlike what Ben Roethlisberger enjoyed in Pittsburgh 12 years ago.
Now the Cowboys quarterback gets to put a seven-game winning streak on the line against Big Ben on Sunday in a second straight AFC North road game after throttling winless Cleveland.
A week ago, the Cowboys (7-1) were trying to put aside an emotional win over NFC East rival Philadelphia to get ready for the lowly Browns, knowing the Steelers were next. Following a workmanlike 35-10 win, Dallas gets ready for an old Super Bowl rival, and a struggling one. The Steelers (4-4) have lost their last three games.
“You just try to get back to what you do each week,” said coach Jason Garrett, who praised the team's response to the 29-23 overtime win over the Eagles.
“We had a lot of guys in the building this morning lifting and taking care of their treatment. Tomorrow morning they'll come in again and continue to do that. We'll get back into our rhythm, we'll get back into our routine — what we do each week to clean up the game and get our eyes forward.”
Roethlisberger won all 13 starts in the regular season in 2004, leading the Steelers to a 15-1 record before losing to New England in the AFC championship game. Prescott now owns a slight twist as the first rookie quarterback in the Super Bowl era to win seven of the first eight games of the season. Roethlisberger's run started in Week 3.
“We are just having fun,” said Prescott, who threw for three touchdowns and has 12 TD passes with two interceptions. “I think that is the way we approach every day throughout the week. Come in, have fun but knowing it's business first and taking care of our business with the right attitude. Then come out on Sunday and just let loose.”
Garrett said 10-year starter Tony Romo has been cleared for practice and will do more this week than the limited work from the past two weeks. The 36-year-old broke a bone in his back in a preseason game. Garrett wouldn't be more specific on the plans for Romo.
The Steelers figure they can plan for Prescott.
“I would assume they're going to ride the hot hand,” linebacker Arthur Moats said. “You look at him in big games, clutch moments, even the first game they lost to the Giants, he was never not poised. You can see that he's grown. He's confident.”
Fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliott had two rushing touchdowns, and the Dallas passing game was as efficient as it has been all season despite just one catch for Dez Bryant, for 19 yards. The 2014 All-Pro receiver missed three of Prescott's wins with a knee injury.
Jason Witten, the 14th-year tight end who had his first 100-yard game in three years, had one of the touchdowns . The others were to Cole Beasley and Gavin Escobar, a forgotten tight end whose first catch of the year was his 2-yard score.
“We're so dynamic it's crazy,” Bryant said. “What's next from being a dual threat? Anything? Quadruple threat. Turbo quadruple threat. I like that.”
Prescott showed news signs of leadership as well, grabbing Bryant by the collar on the sideline after a touchdown to try to calm him down as Bryant kept complaining about what he thought was a missed call when he dropped a pass in the end zone while Cleveland cornerback Joe Haden grabbed his arm.
“I wanted to say some things about the holding penalty,” Bryant said. “Dak's like, `Let's just get it right, we're good.' You need people like that.' I was like, `Oh, all right. Let's go, move on to the next play.' And I just think that's cool.”
Next up for Prescott: an opposing quarterback who went from rookie standout to franchise player, the same path he hopes to take.