As kick off took place at The Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium last night in Canton so did the 2021 NFL season. The traditional curtain raiser prior to pre-season games saw Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers take centre stage. Between these two worldwide franchises they possess 11 Super Bowl titles but neither have tasted glory since the 2008 season.
The Hall of Fame Game is never a great spectacle and this one was not a classic either. Pittsburgh beat the Cowboys by a low scoreline of 16-3. Not many first team starters featured for either side which included quarterbacks Dak Prescott and Ben Roethlisberger.
What this provided was second and third stringer quarterbacks for both teams to get some reps. In total we saw six of them, three per team try to impress on a Thursday night. This included 15th pick from the 2019 NFL Draft Dwayne Haskins. Haskins only completed eight of 13 passes for 54 yards in the game.However he did hand off the ball for Kevin Ballage to score a touchdown.
A further touchdown would follow in the fourth quarter when fellow quarterback Joshua Hobbs passed to wide receiver Tyler Simmons. It was a performance overall by the Steelers which provides much hope this year.
Roethlisberger aka Big Ben has been really working out for this upcoming season. Whilst wide receiver Chase Claypool looks impressive following on from his rookie season. Pittsburgh are looking to come back improved after a disappointing season in 2020. Exiting the play-offs after going 12-4 in the regular season was not good enough.
Dallas on the other hand have a lot of progress to make this year. A 6-10 season was totally unacceptable which includes a world class roster. Many people are expecting a Super Bowl push by America’s Team considering they have Dak Prescott back for this year. His injury against the New York Giants derailed their season last October.
This game is just a warm up before the big event on Sunday in Canton. When the class of 2021 are inducted into the Hall of Fame and receive gold jackets. New inductees included former Cowboys Head Coach Jimmy Johnson who won two superbowls. Whilst Steelers have former head coach Bill Cower being honoured also. If the Cowboys and Steelers fail to deliver this year. Sunday may be the only celebrating they do during the 2021 season.