Chances were few and far between during the first half, with neither goalkeeper called into any meaningful action.
Paul Green went closest to breaking the deadlock for Leeds before the break, but his strike from the edge of the penalty area in the 39th minute cannoned against the crossbar.
Both sides provided more threats after the restart, but it wasn't until the 66th minute that the opening goal was scored by the home side. Green picked out substitute Ross McCormack, who in turn curled the ball beyond the reach of Frank Fielding.
Their lead lasted only six minutes, though, as Nigel Clough's Derby drew themselves level. Paddy Kenny managed to save Connor Sammon's penalty, but Paul Coutts reacted quickly to convert the rebound from close range.
Leeds' response was positive and they almost immediately regained the lead when Sam Byram headed goalwards at the back post, but once again the crossbar came to Derby's rescue.