In a game pitting two teams fighting for their playoff lives, the Cowboys had just enough to edge the Steelers 27-24 in overtime to improve to 8-6 with their third-straight victory and fifth in the last six games.

More important for the Cowboys, the win put them in a three-way tie for first place in the NFC East. The Steelers dropped to 7-7 with the loss at Cowboys Stadium in front of 95,595, about half of whom were decked out in Steelers’ black and gold.

Despite losing the fourth game in their last five, the Steelers can make the playoffs with victories over Ohio neighbors Cincinnati and Cleveland to end the season. 

Brandon Carr’s interception and 36-yard return on the second play of overtime to the Steelers’ 1 set up Dan Bailey’s second-straight game-winning field goal.

It was a back-and-forth game where the momentum kept swinging to each team, especially in the fourth quarter.

Cowboys’ receiver Dwayne Harris had a 38-yard punt return to midfield with 47 seconds to play. But the Cowboys couldn’t get into field-goal range, forcing  a punt and the game went to overtime.

One of the bigger storylines of the week was the health of Dez Bryant, who had a fractured left index finger and was limited in practice all week. Although he went most of the first half without a catch, Bryant finished with four receptions for 59 yards, including a touchdown for the sixth straight game.

When the game turned: The Steelers led 24-17 and forced a Cowboys’ punt with 10:18 to play. Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown broke free on the return for 22 yards and had more room to run, but Cowboys LB Victor Butler ripped the ball away for a fumble that was recovered by John Phillips at the Steelers’ 44. Seven plays later, the Cowboys tied the game on a 3-yard run by DeMarco Murray.

Highlight moments:

Although it was more a chip shot, Dan Bailey kicked his second-straight game-winning field goal in two weeks. His 21-yarder beat the Steelers in overtime, following a 40-yarder to beat Cincinnati last week. Bailey has three game-winners this year and seven in his two-year career. ... Pittsburgh’s James Harrison saved the Steelers in the second quarter when he ripped the ball from DeMarco Murray at the 5-yard line and the Cowboys leading 3-0. Although the Cowboys eventually went up 10-0 later in the half, that play kept the Steelers in the game early. ... After the Cowboys led 17-10 in the third quarter, Roethlisberger showed off his arm strength with a 60-yard heave to Mike Wallace, who made the catch inside the 5-yard line. It set up a touchdown run by Jonathan Dwyer. ... For the second-straight week, Brandon Carr has come up with a big interception. Last week against Cincy, it came in the second quarter and kept the Bengals from pulling away. This week, it was more noticeable as he picked off the pass in overtime, got up on his feet and darted to the end zone, before getting tackled at the 1. Carr leads the Cowboys with three interceptions.

Top-shelf performances:

  • Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger -- 24 of 40 for 339 yards, 2 TDs, INT

  • Steelers TE Heath Miller -- 7 catches, 92 yards, TD

  • Steelers WR Brown -- 8 catches 76 yards, TD

  • Steelers WR Wallace -- 4 catches, 95 yards

  • Cowboys QB Tony Romo -- 30 of 42 for 341 yards, 2 TDs

  • Cowboys WR Bryant -- 4 catches, 59 yards, TD

  • Cowboys RB Murray -- 14 carries, 81 yards, TD; 4 catches, 31 yards

What they said about Brandon Carr’s interception in overtime:

  • Cowboys CB Carr -- “It was just reaction and instinct. They put us in a coverage where I could have vision and read the quarterback. I saw he got to the top of his drop and delivered his ball, and I made a run for it. He threw it behind him and I laid out for it and caught it. Ben is a big quarterback so it’s not hard to miss him in the pocket.”

  • Cowboys CB Carr -- “Those are the plays you dream about when you’re in the backyard and when you’re making the game-winning touchdown or interception.”

  • Steelers QB Roesthlisberger -- "He made a good play, but still, it shouldn't have even been close," Roethlisberger said. "They shouldn't have even knocked it down. It should have been outside. I should have put more on it and it would have been an easy completion."

  • Cowboys defensive end Marcus Spears -- “That was like a buzzer beater. It was huge. That guy studies the game and understands it. There is no doubt in my mind that he knew that was coming. That’s why they gave him the big bucks to make plays … and he’s making them.”

What they said about continuing injuries to the Steelers' secondary:

  • Steelers NT <strong>Casey Hampton</strong>  -- "That's no excuse. Everybody gets paid to do a job and  has to go out there and get it done. Nobody is feeling sorry for us."

  • Steelers CB Victorian-- "After the first half, I got used to the game -- the speed, the routes and things like that."

Numbers you should know: The Steelers haven’t allowed an opposing quarterback to post a QB rating over 90 in the past eight games. That stretch included games against Eli Manning, Andy Dalton and Philip Rivers. Romo not only had a 111.3, but his 341 passing yards are the most against the Steelers in 21 games, dating to early last season. ... The Steelers converted only one third down after halftime.

Injury update: Injuries took their toll on both teams, like they have all season. Cowboys -- Dallas lost starting ILB Ernie Sims (concussion) early in the game. Sims is the third starter at that position to miss considerable playing time. ... Steelers -- Pittsburgh has been decimated at cornerback with Ike Taylor already out. DeMarcus Van Dyke suffered a seperated shoulder in the first half, forcing the Steelers to call on seldom-used Josh Victorian. Van Dyke was wearing a sling after the game. WR Emmanuel Sanders suffered a cracked rib, and CB Keenan Lewis suffered a groin injury. 

Going forward: Cowboys -- Dallas wraps up their home schedule with the Saints at Cowboys Stadium on Sunday. Steelers -- Pittsburgh returns home to face the Bengals with heavy playoff implications on the line.

For more Cowboys information follow @CBSCowboys and @nickeatman.

Follow Steelers reporter Chuck Finder on Twitter @CBSSteelers and @cfinder.