Thursday night, the NFL will hold a live game for the first time since the Buccaneers knocked off the Chiefs in last February’s Super Bowl. The 2021 preseason will begin with the Steelers and Cowboys squaring off in the annual NFL Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio.
The excitement surrounding the NFL’s first game of the preseason is usually more about the return of the sport than about the play on the field. Even with the preseason shortened to three games in 2021 — or four in the case of the Steelers and the Cowboys — coaches will certainly limit the reps of their starters while some won’t play at all. That includes Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott, who is battling a shoulder injury.
Still, there will be some intriguing players on the field in the preseason opener. Running back Najee Harris, the Steelers’ first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, should get a few carries. The former Alabama running back racked up 1,891 scrimmage yards and 30 touchdowns during the 2020 college season and finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting.
Meanwhile, Dallas’ first-round pick, Micah Parsons, may see action as well. The former Penn State linebacker hasn’t played since the 2019 college season, so it will be interesting to see if he has to shake off any rust in his return.
Steelers quarterback Dwayne Haskins will be the biggest name to watch aside from those two. He signed with Pittsburgh during the 2021 offseason less than two years after being a top-15 pick by the Washington Football Team. Haskins is looking to revive his career and prove that he can be a long-term successor to Ben Roethlisberger. This will be his first chance to do that on the field and push Mason Rudolph for the backup job.
Sporting News is tracking live scoring updates and highlights from Steelers vs. Cowboys in the 2021 Hall of Fame Game. Follow below for complete results from the NFL’s preseason opener.
Steelers vs. Cowboys score
Steelers vs. Cowboys live updates, highlights from Hall of Fame Game
(All times Eastern)
8:20 p.m. — Another third down, another conversion. Gilbert has plenty of time in the pocket and finds Rico Dowdle out of the backfield. Dowdle takes it to the five. First and goal for the Cowboys.
8:18 p.m. — On third down, Gilbert completes another pass. Noah Brown makes a strong-handed catch. First down, Cowboys, at the Steelers’ 20-yard line.
8:16 p.m. — Garrett Gilbert starts at quarterback for the Cowboys. He finds Dalton Schultz for a 15-yard gain on his first pass.
8:13 p.m. — And there’s the first big play of the game. Mason Rudolph drops the ball. Cowboys linebacker and first-round pick Micah Parsons jumps on the fumble in the backfield. The Cowboys get the ball for the first time.
8:12 p.m. — Mason Rudolph hits Chase Claypool down the field for another first down. It was an 11-yard gain. Rudolph has looked good throwing the ball so far.
8:10 p.m. — Najee Harris gets his first carry on the next play. He bulls forward for a gain of about five yards and a first down.
8:10 p.m. — First play of the NFL season is a short pass from Mason Rudolph to Diontae Johnson. The Steelers gain seven.
8:09 p.m. — Hunter Niswander kicks it off and Anthony McFarland Jr. catches it for a touchback. The game is on!
8:08 p.m. — Mike Tomlin seems excited to be at the Hall of Fame Game with so many Steelers being honored. He’s looking for “fundamentals” out of rookie Najee Harris. Meanwhile, Mike McCarthy noted that the Cowboys have had a “very good” camp so far.
8:05 p.m. — The Steelers — and more specifically, starting quarterback Mason Rudolph — won the coin toss. They’ll receive.
7:58 p.m. — Almost time for kickoff!
7:52 p.m. — It doesn’t look like Ben Roethlisberger is suited up tonight. That’s not a big surprise, but it looks like it will be the Mason Rudolph, Dwayne Haskins and Joshua Dobbs show on Thursday night for Pittsburgh. Dallas, meanwhile, will roll with Cooper Rush, Garrett Gilbert and Ben DiNucci.
7:51 p.m. — The 2020 inductees have been introduced. After the commercial, we’ll see the eight from the 2021 class. Then, it’s time for football.
7:46 p.m. — They’re introducing the Hall of Fame inductees on the field right now. There are 28 this year, 20 from the class of 2020 and eight from the class of 2021. Click here for the full list of honorees.
7:43 p.m. — Cowboys owner Jerry Jones just announced on the Fox broadcast that Jimmy Johnson will be inducted into the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor. Johnson is being inducted into the Hall of Fame this weekend as part of the class of 2020.
7:35 p.m. — Earlier, the NFL shared the Cowboys’ entrance to the field. Now, here’s the Steelers’ entrance.
7:33 p.m. — Fox’s Jay Glazer provided an update on Dak Prescott’s shoulder injury. He’s not expected to miss time to start the season, but he’s dealing with a unique injury that more often occurs in baseball players. As such, Dallas has reached out to the Texas Rangers for advice about it.
What’s the latest on the Dak and Wentz injuries, and how likely is it that Deshaun Watson stays with the Texans all season?@JayGlazer gives us updates on those stories and more: pic.twitter.com/saXdNGscvj
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) August 5, 2021
7:30 p.m. — In case you’re wondering, this is what Najee Harris looks like in a Steelers uniform. Tonight will be the first NFL action for the team’s 2021 first-round pick out of Alabama.
7:28 p.m. — According to Dale Lolley of DK Pittsburgh Sports, the Cowboys have left 16 players back at their California training facility. With joint practices on deck for them Saturday, we may not see many, if any, Dallas starters.
I’ve heard the Cowboys are going to have a joint practice with the Rams on Saturday — which seems a bit ambitious — so I don’t know that they’ll play anyone of import in this game. In fact, they left 16 players back in California.
— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 5, 2021
7:25 p.m. — The Cowboys are taking the field in their usually white and blue uniforms. The Steelers, meanwhile, will wear black and yellow.
Steelers vs. Cowboys start time
The 2021 Hall of Fame Game between the Cowboys and Steelers will kick off at 8 p.m. ET. The game will be played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, which is located next to the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The stadium is named after legendary former Saints owner Tom Benson.
How to watch the 2021 NFL Hall of Fame Game
Tonight’s Steelers vs. Cowboys game will be broadcast live on Fox with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman on the call. You can also stream the Hall of Fame Game live at FoxSports.com or with fuboTV, which offers a free seven-day trial.
Here is the full TV schedule for the NFL’s Hall of Fame weekend:
|Hall of Fame Game||Thursday, Aug. 5||8 p.m.||Fox, fuboTV|
|2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony||Saturday, Aug. 7||6:30 p.m.||NFL Network, fuboTV|
|2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony||Sunday, Aug. 8||7 p.m.||NFL Network, fuboTV|