The Cowboys will be in the middle of their AFC North tour in Week 10, playing their second of three straight games against opponents from that division. Week 10 will bring a matchup against an old rival, a team they've played three times in the Super Bowl, the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers are one of the few teams who can match the Cowboys storied history in the the league and also come close to matching the popularity of America's Team.
The Steelers are 6-2 in Super Bowl games while the Cowboys are 5-3. They are 2-1 against the Cowboys in Super Bowls. Unlike Dallas though, the Steelers have been very active participants in recent playoffs and have positioned themselves as a power in the AFC conference. The combination of coach Mike Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has kept them competitive and consistent.
They are facing one big issue this season, star running back Le'Veon Bell is looking at a possible four-game suspension to start the season. He missed a mandatory drug test but he is appealing the suspension and seems confident he will beat it
Let's see what our friends at Behind The Steel Curtain have to say about the Steelers this year.
Notable free agent additions: Ladarius Green, TE
Notable free agent departures: Antwon Blake, CB, Brandon Boykin, CB
Trades: None to date
Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies: Most would assume 1st round pick Artie Burns, CB, will be the man to step up, but the hope is he won't be needed in 2016. The picks who are expected to truly make some plays are 2nd round pick Sean Davis, Safety out of Maryland, and Javon Hargraves, NT from South Carolina State. Both play positions which are extremely thin and could lend themselves to seeing a rookie with notable playing time.
Biggest offseason addition: No doubt the biggest addition was bringing in Ladarius Green. With Heath Miller calling it a career, Green will help mask some of the issues which are absent with Miller not in the fold anymore. Green has the size and speed to create mismatches down the middle of the field, something Miller lacked in his later years.
Other than Green, the Steelers' ability to keep their own (Ramon Foster, LG, William Gay, CB, and Robert Golden, S) were huge additions this offseason.
Biggest storyline heading into training camp: The team's secondary will certainly be the most talked about topic heading into training camp, but the team's defense overall should be the biggest storyline. They were able to create turnovers in 2015, but their overall lack of pass defense (30th in the NFL) left the team hanging out to dry on more than one occasion.
Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp: For the past two seasons, offensive coordinator Todd Haley has given the offense a goal of averaging 30 points per game. They failed to do so last year, without having Ben Roethlisberger under center for almost 6 full games. If everyone stays healthy, this could be one of the best offenses in team history, as well as in the NFL in the past decade.
Notable injuries heading into training camp: Le'Veon Bell's knee injury which ended his 2015 season early will be worth keeping an eye on, as well as an ankle injury which currently has Ladarius Green sidelined until training camp. Other than that, the Steelers have a relatively clean bill of health outside of the usual football maladies.
So BTB, how do you feel about taking on one of the Cowboys' oldest rivals? Can Dallas get out of the Steel City with a win?