Football is officially back in force with training camp and this weekend the 2013 NFL preseason kicks off with the Hall of Fame Game– featuring the Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys– two franchises that have a lot to work on if they plan to make significant strides in 2013. Complete with a festival the day before, the Dolphins unveiling of their updated uniforms during the game, and the enforcement of new NFL bag policy ( size of bags allowed into stadium) for fans planning to attend, it all starts this Sunday from the heartland of the NFL in Canton, Ohio.
Cowboys: Expect the Cowboys and leader Tony Romo to take it easy this Sunday night as any potential injuries could prove way too costly (DeMarco Murray always a concern). Expect WR Dez Bryant however to play however as Romo wears his backward cap on the sidelines. Backup QB Kyle Orton and fellow QB candidate Nick Stephens will take the majority of the snaps as the offense will be trying, to find a viable number three receiver and an option to take pressure off DeMarco Murray at running back. As the front eight is banged up on defense with multiple injuries, look for many different guys to take reps on the defensive line, as options will have to be explored to solidify the unit.
Coach Garrett on Radio Last Friday:
“It’s one of those deals where I suppose he could play five plays or whatever, but we might lean to no plays,” Garrett told KRLD-FM. “But the clock starts on our ’1′s’ in Week 2 of the preseason. So (Week 1 is) not going to be Tony’s game.” –
Dolphins: I’m sure Tannehill’s snaps will be limited however, watch for him to target new weapon Mike Wallace very early on. While QB Matt Moore must continue to prove his validity as the Dolphins number two option, RB Lamar Miller should see a few carries, however from late in the game Mike Gillislee and Daniel Thomas should take the load. Defensively, rookie DE Dion Jordan should get some playing time and competition in the secondary will be intense as this unit boasts several rookies who need to make there mark early on in training camp in order to contend for significant playing time.
Coach Philbin following Sunday’s Practice:
“One of the things I’ve been most pleased with the players has been, the lack of penalties, the discipline, and the poise.” He is also keeping his playing time close to the vest. “Typically we’ll get together on Thursday or Friday of next week and we’ll nail down at least specifically long range what we’d like to do for five games and then who we have available for Sunday night in Canton.”
Bottom Line: As there is normally a significant drop off between the first and second team squads, this game like any other preseason contest will be sloppy, however fun to watch for any football fan who loves to explore depth and no name players fighting for roster spots. As the offenses more likely than not will be trying to find their strides expect the action to be undisciplined and for the contest to be low scoring. None the less the Hall of Fame Game– will be the first time fans around the league can feel that football is somewhat back. Especially back on our televisions.
Prediction: Cowboys 24 Dolphins 17
Last Five Games in Series:
2012: Cardinals 10 Saints 17
2010: Cowboys 16 Bengals 7
2009: Bills 18 Titans 21
2008: Colts 16 Redskins 30
When: Sunday, August 4th, @ 8 p.m. ET
Where: Fawcett Stadium (22,000) in Canton, Ohio
Significance: A new Hall of Fame class will be enshrined during a ceremony on Saturday, August 3rd.
Class of 2013 Quick Career Highlights: Super Bowls matter when getting into Hall of Fame
Larry Allen, Guard, 1994-2005 Dallas Cowboys, 2006-07 San Francisco 49ers: Named first-team All-Pro seven straight years, started at right guard in Super Bowl XXX victory, paved the way for HOF running back Emmitt Smith.
Cris Carter, Wide Receiver, 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1900-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins: In 2000, became only the second player in NFL history to catch 1,000 career passes. Additionally recorded 1,000 receiving yards in a season eight strait years.
Curly Culp, Defensive Tackle, 1968 Kansas City Chiefs, 1974-1980 Houston Oilers, 1980-81 Detroit Lions: Started at left defensive tackle in Super Bowl IV win over Vikings where he recorded three tackles and one assist.
Jonathan Ogden, Offensive Tackle, 1996-2007 Baltimore Ravens: Started in Ravens’ 34-7 victory over the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV. Paved the way for 2000+yard rusher Jamal Lewis during his career.
Bill Parcells, Coach, 1982-1990 New York Giants, 1993-1996 New England Patriots, 1997-99 New York Jets, 2003-06 Dallas Cowboys: Overall record: 183-138-1, won Super Bowl XXI and Super Bowl XXV with the New York Giants.
Dave Robinson, Linebacker, 1963-1972 Green Bay Packers, 1973-74 Washington Redskins: Starting OLB in Packers’ victories in Super Bowls I and II. During Super Bowl II recorded two tackles, five assisted tackles, one fumble recovery and one batted pass as the Packers beat the Raiders 33-14.
Warren Sapp, Defensive Tackle, 1995-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Oakland Raiders: Tallied two tackles, one sack, two passes defensed, and forced fumble in Bucs’ 48-21 win over Raiders, Super Bowl XXXVII.