The NFL officially kicks off the 2017 preseason with the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Game tonight. The game — between the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals — may not be pretty, but after six long months, NFL football is finally back.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Game is the NFL’s version of a ribbon-cutting ceremony; NFL football is finally open and ready for business.
Tonight’s game — which is held annually in Canton, OH — will begin at 8:00 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on NBC.
This first preseason game is part of a long weekend of events, including Saturday’s Class of 2017 Enshrinement Ceremony.
Since the Hall of Fame Game adds an extra game to both teams’ preseason schedules, coaches for the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals will likely rest the majority of their starters during tonight’s matchup.
Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians already announced that all of his starters and some of his backups will not play tonight, including both starting quarterback Carson Palmer and backup quarterback Drew Stanton.
49ers fans will be happy to hear that quarterback Blaine Gabbert will be under center for the first half of the game, attempting to “dink and dunk” his new Cardinals team to preseason victory.
The Cowboys — unlike the Cardinals — have not announced who will play tonight; but expect to see Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott in street clothes on the Cowboys sideline. The Cowboys coaches will likely play the majority of the team’s rookies, including Taco Charlton, the controversial defensive end the Cowboys selected with their first pick in the 2017 NFL draft.
NFL fans won’t expect the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game to satisfy all of our offseason football cravings, but it will hopefully be an exciting beginning to an exciting football season.
We wish the best of luck to both teams; here’s to a hard played — and injury-free — beginning to the 2017 NFL preseason.