Pre-Season football is not really a highly talked about or publicized event, rather, just a tease for the real action that will take place in September. However, the NFL/Hall of Fame game is the exception to the rule. Teams gather in Canton, Ohio, headquarters of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, for a nationally televised contest. This year’s game will feature the Miami Dolphins and the Dallas Cowboys.
Dallas is returning to Canton for the fifth time it the history of the storied franchise. Though having a high number of members in the Hall of Fame, Dallas’ play in the Hall of Fame game is less than hall-worthy. “America’s Team” has a 1-3 record in this game, their last of which came in 2010 against the Bengals. Coincidentally, that was also their last appearance playing in the premier Preseason contest in the NFL.
For Miami, this game may be a chance to showcase some of those new free agents off to the national audience. Players like Mike Wallace, Dannell Ellerbe, and Dustin Keller will have a chance to show that Jeff Ireland knew what he was doing when he doled out millions upon millions of dollars.
Miami will be making their fourth trip to Canton, a trip that they too show little success in. In this case, Miami has yet to win the Hall of Fame game at Fawcett Stadium. The Dolphins last made an appearance in 2005 against the Chicago Bears.
The actual contest itself is not a blockbuster, but expects it to attract a number of viewers. The Preseason action is slated to kick off at 8:00 ET on Saturday, August 3, just one day after the new enshrines are formally inducted to the Hall of Fame. The game is expected to draw larger crowds than usual due in part to the Hall of Fame’s 50th Anniversary of the Hall of Fame. Over 120 of the members of this exclusive fraternity are expected to be in attendance for the induction ceremonies, the largest gathering of Hall of Famers in one place simultaneously.
In addition to recognizing the newest members of the 2013 class during the game, the league is planning on recognizing many of the returning members of Canton as well. Three of the seven members of this year’s class have a connection to the teams featured in the matchup.
Guard Larry Allen is the 14th longtime member of Big D to earn the most prestigious honor football can offer. Allen’s election into the Hall of Fame is well-deserved. He started for the Cowboys from 1994-2005 and earned seven All-Pro selections along the way.
Former Coach Bill Parcells had the pleasure of coaching Allen at the end of his career. Parcells only lasted four years in Dallas, before then moving to the Dolphins Front Office. The “Big Tuna” finished his career as the club’s Executive Vice President of Football Operations from 2007-2010 before calling it quits.
Cris Carter, though most notably known for his time catching passes for the Vikings, actually finished his career in Miami. The soon-to-be Hall of Famer played the 2002 season for the ‘Phins before leaving the game.
Joining these three in the Hall of Game are defensive tackles Curley Culp and Warren Sapp, tackle Jonathan Ogden, and linebacker Dave Robinson.
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