The Dallas Cowboys have been selected to play against the Arizona Cardinals in the Hall of Fame game, the NFL’s preseason opener. But is it unfair?
The last time the Dallas Cowboys played in the Pro Football Hall of Fame game, a sixth round rookie linebacker named DeVonte Holloman was the star of the show. Against the Miami Dolphins back in August of 2013, Holloman ran an interception back 75-yards for a touchdown extending the Cowboys lead to 17-0 midway through the second quarter.
Dallas would go on to win the NFL’s preseason opener 24-20 over Miami, despite the Dolphins scoring 17 points in the fourth quarter. A year later, Holloman was out of football completely, forced to retire due to a devastating neck injury.
Four years later, the Cowboys have once again been slated to take part in the Hall of Fame contest. This time against the Arizona Cardinals in Canton, Ohio.
Participating in the league’s preseason opener is a bit of a mixed bag. Essentially, being selected by the NFL to play in this exhibition gives each club five preseason games to participate in instead of just four. Although this means more precious game time for the inexperienced, it also increases the chances for injury and general fatigue.
Although some may view the selection as an honor, others likely think it’s a curse. One such player is longtime Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who voiced his displeasure of having another week of training camp and an extra preseason game to play via Twitter following the league’s announcement.
For several years now, some have argued that the NFL preseason period is much too long. Adding yet another game to the regular season prologue could turn problematic for Dallas. Or, due to the team having so many young players, an added opportunity to gain experience could be viewed as a blessing. Whether it is fair or not, that’s the hand the Cowboys have been dealt.
My guess is fans of America’s Team will be so starved for football by August 3rd, that just seeing their Dallas Cowboys on the field playing a different opponent other than themselves will be like an oasis in the desert.