ARLINGTON, Texas — After attending funerals of two former teammates the past two weeks, Dallas Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr for a change had something to celebrate Sunday afternoon at Cowboys Stadium.
Carr's game-deciding interception on the second play of overtime lifted Dallas to a 27-24 win over Pittsburgh in front of 95,595 fans, including approximately 12,000 Terrible Towel-waving Steelers fans.
Two weeks ago, Carr's former Kansas City Chiefs teammate, Jovan Belcher, fatally shot his girlfriend then killed himself. A week later, Jerry Brown died in a one-car accident in a car driven by Cowboys teammate Josh Brent.
“It's rewarding, knowing you've been through so much,” Carr said. “You try to stay grounded in your faith, your steadfastness to the Lord. Going to those services, saying my goodbyes, gave me some closure and peace, knowing (their relatives) were taken care of.”
Carr said he had an advantage knowing Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Todd Haley's tendencies. Carr played for Haley, the former the Chiefs head coach, before signing with Dallas this past offseason.
After picking off Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Carr scrambled to his feet and raced to the one-foot line to set up Dan Bailey's chip shot 21-yard game-wining field goal.
With another dramatic win, the Cowboys (8-6) moved into a three-way tie for the NFC East lead with the hot Washington Redskins and slumping New York Giants.
“It's no mistake we're here. Everything happens for a reason,” Carr said. “This is our true testimony for what it means to be a Dallas Cowboy for the 2012 season. With everything we've been through, all the adversities, all the tragedies ... we found a way to come up with the victory.”
Carr's interception was the final big play in a game full of highlight-reel-worthy plays supplied by both quarterbacks and both defenses.
Dallas quarterback Tony Romo, who surpassed 25,000 career passing yards, completed 30 of 42 passes for 341 yards and two touchdowns. Roethlisberger threw for 339 yards and two scores but said it was a tough loss to digest.
“When you lose the game for your team, it's not fun,” Roethlisberger said. “He made a good play, but still it shouldn't have even been close ... I should have put more on it and it would have been an easy completion.”
The Steelers (7-7) took their first lead on Antonio Brown's touchdown catch early in the fourth quarter. Dallas tied it 24-24 on DeMarco Murray's 3-yard run with 6:55 left, capping a 44-yard drive set up a Brown punt return fumble.