NFL: Today's games
The Dallas Cowboys will find out today whether Tony Romo, back from his broken pinkie, can be as effective against one of the NFL’s elite teams as he has been against also-rans.
Dallas has won three straight since Romo returned, but the last two have been at home against San Francisco and Seattle, team with six wins between them. This week, the Cowboys go to Pittsburgh to take on the AFC North-leading Steelers (9-3), who beat the Patriots 33-10 in Foxborough last week when they forced five straight turnovers to start the second half.
Romo seems fine now, but two of Dallas’ best players have injury problems: linebacker DeMarcus Ware and running back Marion Barber. Ware injured a knee and Barber a foot in the Thanksgiving Day win over the Seahawks, although both say they expect to play.
While they’ve won only one more game than Dallas (8-4), the Steelers are in a better position in the standings, a game up on Baltimore with four to go in the AFC North. They can clinch a playoff spot with a win and a combination of other developments. The Cowboys trail the Giants by three in the NFC East and are basically playing for a wild-card playoff spot; one more win by New York clinches the division.
“I think we are kind of a nicely boring team,” Pittsburgh defensive end Aaron Smith said. “We just come out and find a way to win.”
That might apply to the Pittsburgh offense. But not the defense, where outside linebackers James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley have accounted for 251/2 sacks between them. Harrison has 14 sacks, one off the team record, and six forced fumbles, two of them last week against New England.
Still, Dallas’ three straight wins after four losses in six games have the Cowboys in a positive frame of mind.
“I think the physical health is getting better, but mentally we’ve got the right approach,” tight end Jason Witten said.
The Giants, Arizona and Tennessee can clinch their divisions this week.
In other games today: Minnesota is at Detroit, Houston at Green Bay, Atlanta at New Orleans, Jacksonville at Chicago, Miami vs. Buffalo at Toronto; New England at Seattle, and Washington at Baltimore.
Tampa Bay is at Carolina on Monday night.
By Mike London firstname.lastname@example.org KANNAPOLIS ó Business boomed at Hardee’s over the weekend because A.L. Brown fans recognized the big... read more