Steelers vs. Cowboys: A Reversal of Fortune Entering Week 15 Matchup

Mike Batista@Steel_TweetsContributor IDecember 15, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 09:  Darrell Stuckey #25 of the San Diego Chargers breaks up a pass intended for Heath Miller #83 of the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 9, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Joe Sargent/Getty Images

For Pittsburgh Steelers fans old enough to remember any of the Super Bowls the Steelers have played against the Dallas Cowboys, it's been fun to sit back and laugh at the Cowboys' dysfunction over the past few years.

The Steelers, who play the Cowboys on Sunday, have won two Super Bowls since 2005. The Cowboys have gone 1-3 in playoff games during that time and always seem to be embroiled in some type of drama.

The Giants upset the 13-3 Cowboys during the 2007 playoffs, and it didn't sit well with Cowboys fans when quarterback Tony Romo flew off to Mexico with then-girlfriend Jessica Simpson during the bye week before that game.

That was also the time when Terrell "That's My Quarterback" Owens and all his antics were part of the show in Dallas.

Last season, the Cowboys collapsed after a 7-4 start and finished out of the playoffs at 8-8, blowing six fourth-quarter leads.

Now, the Steelers have something in common with the Cowboys, and it's not just their 7-6 record.

The Steelers seem to have uncovered the Cowboys' formula for off-the-field soap operas and maddening inconsistency.

Pittsburgh has blown three fourth-quarter leads this season and is fighting for a playoff spot after starting the year 6-3.

Rashard Mendenhall, the Steelers' most talented running back, is suspended for Sunday's game in Dallas. He didn't show up for the Steelers' 34-24 loss to the Chargers last week after being told he wouldn't be activated, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Inactive players normally stand on the sidelines with their teammates during the game.

Meanwhile, Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant says he's playing in Sunday's game against the Steelers even though he has a broken finger, according to

This is the same guy whom the Cowboys basically had to treat like a child this summer by writing a set of rules, including curfew and an alcohol ban, after he was charged with allegedly assaulting his mother, according to

Whoever would have thought a Cowboy, especially one with baggage like Bryant, would set an example for a Steeler on being a team player?

Bryant caught a touchdown pass with that broken finger last week as the Cowboys, one day after the death of a teammate, came back for an emotional 20-19 victory over the Bengals in Cincinnati.

About 300 miles to the northeast, the Steelers looked like the guys playing three time zones away against San Diego.

Steelers veteran Brett Keisel said the team wasn't ready to play heading into that dumbfounding loss to the 5-8 Chargers.

Why not? Did the Steelers not know that a loss would make it more challenging for them to get into the playoffs?

Whoever would have thought the Cowboys would show more heart than the Steelers?

The Steelers have lost three of their last four, while the Cowboys have won four of their last five.

Perhaps this is a reversal of fortune. Perhaps the Cowboys are becoming Gallant and the Steelers are becoming Goofus.

The Steelers can put a stop to all this with a win on Sunday.

If not, the confluence of the three rivers might look more like Dysfunction Junction.