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Cowboys lose to undefeated Steelers with 4th quarterback of the season

Garrett Gilbert, who played at Texas and SMU, started in his first NFL game Sunday.
Credit: AP
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Garrett Gilbert (3) warms up before an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

This story will be regularly updated. 

The Dallas Cowboys fell to the still-undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers in Arlington. 

The Cowboys were on their fourth quarterback, with Garrett Gilbert getting his first NFL start. 

In Gilbert's first appearance on the field, the Cowboys scored a field goal. Midway through the second quarter, the Cowboys led 13-0

By the end of the second quarter, the Steelers had cut into the lead, but the Cowboys ended the first half of the game leading 13-9. 

By the fourth, Cowboys barely led 19-18. But the Steelers scored another touchdown to win the game 24-19. 

To think, this year began with Dak Prescott negotiating for a long-term, high-dollar contract. 

First, of course, was the debilitating injury Prescott suffered in Week 5 against the Giants. His broken ankle ended the season for No. 4 and thrust the Cowboys into a very bad spot.

After Prescott's injury, the Cowboys signed Gilbert off the Cleveland Brown's practice squad. 

Backup quarterback Andy Dalton took over as the starter after Prescott's injury, but he missed last week's game against the Philadelphia Eagles after a concussion. 

Dalton is missing this week's game because he was added to the reserve/COVID-19 list. 

RELATED: Cowboys reportedly place quarterback Andy Dalton on reserve/COVID-19 list

Rookie seventh-round draft pick Ben DiNucci started for the Cowboys against Philadelphia and fumbled twice in leading Dallas to just nine total points.

Coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday he was benching rookie Ben DiNucci.

So now the Cowboys are on their fourth QB. 

Gilbert, the son of former NFL quarterback Gale Gilbert, played at Texas and SMU before he was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in 2014.

The Cowboys also considered starting Cooper Rush against a Pittsburgh defense that has allowed the sixth-fewest points in the league this season and leads the league in sacks per opponent pass attempt.

Ezekiel Elliott was active for Dallas after the two-time rushing champion was limited in practice all week by a hamstring injury.

Elliott went through a pregame workout on the field with the training staff as coach Mike McCarthy watched. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said late in the week Elliott would play, but McCarthy was more cautious and wondered what his workload would be.

McCarthy said Elliott was injured late in last week’s loss to Philadelphia during Rodney McLeod’s 53-yard fumble return for a touchdown that sealed a 23-9 win for the Eagles. Elliott, who hasn’t missed a game because of injury in his four-plus seasons, was listed as questionable.

Dallas, which has now lost four games in a row, is 2-7 this season and was ranked third in the NFC East before the game. 

The Cowboys are now tied with the New York Giants for the worst record in the NFC. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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