The Dallas Cowboys won their preseason opener in the Hall of Fame game against the Arizona Cardinals, 20-18, Thursday night in Canton, Ohio.
The Dallas Cowboys were able to come away with a victory Thursday night, in their preseason opener against the Arizona Cardinals in the annual Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio. After being down 15-0 in the first quarter, the Cowboys were able to rally back to win the contest 20-18. And they did so with a vast majority of their starters watching from the sidelines.
On the Cowboy side of the ball, the unquestionable stars were running back Rod Smith and tight end Rico Gathers. Smith, with his younger brother and Dallas second year linebacker Jaylon Smith cheering him on from the bench, put on a terrific show in front of the national, primetime audience.
In the league’s kickoff preseason game, the elder Smith was able to rush for 64 yards on 18 carries. He also had three receptions for 25 yards. Also impressive running the ball for Dallas was veteran back Alfred Morris, who had a whopping 42 yards on just seven carries.
But maybe the bigger surprise was the excellent play of Gathers. The former Baylor basketball star, who hadn’t played organized ball since middle school, racked up three catches for 59 yards and a leaping touchdown catch in the end zone.
Gathers’ athletic ability for a 6-foot-6, 290 pound is extraordinary and he showed everyone exactly why the Cowboys were willing to spend a sixth round selection on him over a year ago.
With Dak Prescott sitting out, quarterbacks Kellen Moore and rookie Cooper Rush took over under center for Dallas. Moore completed 12 of his 17 passes for 182 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Rush threw for 87 yards and one score completing 50% of his passes. Wide receiver Uzoma Nwachukwu also had a touchdown reception.
The Cowboys defense started the game shaky, allowing 15 first quarter points. But the unit settled down, allowing only a field goal for the rest of the contest. Rookie linebacker Joseph Jones led Dallas in total tackles with nine. Both cornerback Anthony Brown and linebacker Damien Wilson recorded a sack in the game.
Dallas will travel to Cleveland, Ohio on Friday for a day of practice before returning to Canton for the Hall of Fame induction ceremony of Cowboys’ owner and general manager Jerry Jones. Then the team will return to Oxnard, California to continue training camp.
The Dallas Cowboys next preseason game will be Saturday, August 12, 2017 against the Los Angeles Rams in California. The contest will air on the NFL Network.