Dan Rooney ready to get back to work

Steelers Notebook

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Dan Rooney, who stepped down as Ambassador to Ireland, said he is ready to get back to work with the Steelers immediately "every way I can."

Rooney, 80, attended the game Sunday at Cowboys Stadium. He stepped down Friday as U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, flew to Boston that night, attended a memorial service for his late daughter Rita Rooney in Boston Saturday morning and flew to Pittsburgh to catch the Steelers charter flight later in the day.

Rooney, who has been listed as chairman emeritus of the Steelers during his 3 1/2 years as a U.S. Ambassador in the Obama Administration, likely will return as chairman of the team. His son Art Rooney is president. Dan Rooney, a Pro Football Hall of Famer, who always had been heavily involved in NFL matters, said he would like to dig into many of those again.

"I would want to become involved again in league matters where I can be helpful," Rooney told a few reporters from Pittsburgh in the press box at Cowboys Stadium an hour before kickoff. "I will discuss my specific role with the team with Art and I will talk with [NFL commissioner] Roger Goodell about league matters."

Burress inactive

A few days after quarterback Ben Roethlisberger pushed for more playing time for veteran receiver Plaxico Burress, coach Mike Tomlin made Burress inactive for the game.

Quarterback Charlie Batch served as the backup to Roethlisberger. Byron Leftwich, who returned to practice last week after missing three games with broken ribs, was inactive.

Cortez Allen, who started at cornerback last week, was inactive with a hip injury. Josh Victorian made his first NFL start at cornerback, where Ike Taylor missed his second consecutive game with a hairline fracture of his right ankle.

Undrafted rookie cornerback Robert Golden entered the game when the Steelers used their nickel defense. Cornerback Keenan Lewis shadowed Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant, flip-flopping to his side wherever he lined up.

Injury report

The Steelers were hit with more injuries and lost two more cornerbacks. Lewis left late in the game with a hip injury that is not connected to the one he had last week. Backup DeMarcus Van Dyke left the game early with a separated shoulder. Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders also left the game with a rib injury.

Injury report II

The Cowboys also had a rough time with injuries. They lost both starting inside linebackers earlier this season, including Sean Lee from Penn State and Upper St. Clair. They lost their starting safety, cornerback and Sunday nose tackle Jay Ratliff was unable to go.

In the game, they then lost another inside linebacker, Ernie Sims to a concussion.

One player who did come back was Bryant, who played with a broken finger and caught a 24-yard touchdown pass.

"He certainly is playing with some risks," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said, noting that he will have to have surgery on the left index finger after the season. "But he was inspirational out there to everybody involved in the organization."

300 club

Roethlisberger turned in his third 300-yard performance of the season Sunday, and just as in the first two, the Steelers lost.

He threw for 384 yards in 34-31 loss Sept. 23 at Oakland, 363 yards in a 26-23 loss Oct. 11 at Tennessee, and for 339 yards Sunday in a 27-24 defeat in overtime.

The Steelers are 6-5 with Roethlisberger starting, 1-1 with Charlie Batch starting, and 0-1 with Byron Leftwich.

More on Dez

The Cowboys raved about Bryant, who played with a fractured left index finger and caught four passes for 59 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown catch when he beat Lewis in the third quarter.

"Dez loves the game. He loves football more than anybody I've ever seen," defensive tackle Marcus Spears said.

Brent on sideline

Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent was in street clothes on the sideline a little more than a week after being charged with intoxication homicide in the death of teammate Jerry Brown. Brent, who reportedly had a blood alcohol level of 0.18 when he was driving the vehicle in which Brown was killed, is free on $500,000 bond and could face up to 20 years in prison.

"[Brown's] mother asked all of his teammates, she asked everybody, to have Josh's back, to support him," Jones said. "She knew that Josh loved her son and she said Jerry would want this. His teammates asked him to come and be down there with them. I do know that certainly there's the other side of the coin."

Quoting 'em

Jones on the large representation of Steelers fans among the crowd of 95,595: "It always happens that way."

Quick hits

• In the past seven games, the Steelers have turned the ball over 21 times while managing only six takeaways. For the season, they are a minus-14 in turnover ratio.

• The Steelers had won 12 of their past 14 games against NFC teams until Sunday, as well as 29 of their past 35. They were trying to sweep the NFC East Division in Dallas, something they haven't done against any division from the other conference since 2005.

Heath Miller caught seven passes Sunday, including a 30-yard touchdown that tied the score, 10-10, in the second quarter. Miller went past the 400-catch mark for his career (he has 405). Only Hines Ward and John Stallworth had 400 catches in a Steelers uniform.

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Gene Collier and Ron Cook contributed to this report. First Published December 17, 2012 5:00 AM


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