NFL football is back.
The Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals won’t be featuring many prominent players when they meet in the 2017 Hall of Fame Game on Thursday night, but it’s nevertheless the first real, live football action since February. 60 minutes of players in pads running actual plays and keeping score.
The offseason, officially, will come to a close on Thursday. Here’s a look at everything you need to know to watch the 2017 preseason opener:
Date: Thursday, August 3, 2017
Start Time: 8 p.m. ET
TV Channel: NBC
Location: Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton, Ohio
If you’re hoping this game will offer a preview of what’s to come this season, you’re going to be disappointed.
Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians has confirmed that all of his starters–and even some of his backups–will watch the game from the sideline:
It should be a similar story for the Cowboys. Four preseason games is already regarded by some as excessive, and with the Hall of Fame Game pushing that number up to five for Dallas and Arizona, it’s not surprising to see them play it ultra conservative with their most important pieces.
Nevertheless, depth is vital for success in the NFL. While this game won’t provide a look at the starters, it will give fans a glimpse of key backups and, perhaps more importantly at this time of the year, players fighting to make the final 53-man roster. The final score won’t matter nearly as much as how players look. Essentially, this is an advanced scouting opportunity.
And after nearly six months without live football, that’s all we can ask for.
For all you betting degenerates out there, the Cowboys are favored by one point, while the over/under stands at a whopping 35 points. Offensive barnburner, this game will not be.