Naturally, the Dallas Cowboys are being thrust into the limelight to kick off 2020.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Tuesday the Cowboys will open the preseason by playing the Pittsburgh Steelers in the annual Hall of Fame Game. The nationally-televised contest will take place Thursday, Aug. 6 at Tom Benson HOF Stadium in Canton, Ohio.
This will mark the fourth time in 11 years that Dallas has been chosen for the inaugural summer tilt. They’ve won their last three appearances in the HOF Game — in 2010 (vs. Bengals), 2013 (vs. Dolphins), and 2017 (vs. Cardinals), respectively.
The Cowboys and Steelers were shoo-ins for the tilt after all of Troy Polamalu, Bill Cowher, Jimmy Johnson, and Cliff Harris were nominated to the 2020 HOF class. The matchup will precede their bust-reveals and official inductions, set to be held on Aug. 10.
Their selection for the HOF Game means the Cowboys are eligible to begin training camp earlier than the rest of the league. According to ESPN’s Todd Archer, the team will report to Oxnard, Calif., on Tuesday, July 21.
New head coach Mike McCarthy, who’ll make his debut against the Steelers, declared at last month’s Scouting Combine that he’s planned an imminent trip to scout the longtime campsite.
“To see the operation and how it flows. I have a proposed schedule that I’ve already been thinking about,” McCarthy said, per the club’s official website. “But the function of it is always what’s most important, so we’ll be working on that.”
McCarthy also revealed that Dallas will start its offseason workout program on April 6, a week early because they hired a new coaching staff, per NFL stipulations.
The Cowboys finished 8-8 in 2019, missing the playoffs for the sixth time in a 10 years under now-former HC Jason Garrett, who was dismissed in January.
The Steelers, meanwhile, went 8-8 despite losing superstar quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to a season-ending elbow injury in Week 2. Roethlisberger expects to be fully healthy for 2020, though he may sit out the exhibition period as Pittsburgh — an AFC title contender with Ben under center — employs a safer-than-sorry approach.
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Cowboys Announce Re-Signing of Veteran OL
An offensive player not named Dak Prescott received a new deal Monday. The team announced the signing of offensive lineman Adam Redmond, an exclusive-rights free agent. Per the Cowboys’ official website, he inked a one-year contract “likely worth the NFL minimum.”
Redmond is entering his third season with Dallas, having originally joined the club in September 2018. He made 10 appearances that year as a swing interior lineman — he’s capable of playing guard and center — behind Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, and Connor Williams.
In 2019, Redmond retained his spot on the 53-man roster but was active for just one game despite both Martin and Williams battling injuries at various points. He was listed as the third-string center, backing up Frederick and Joe Looney, until a back issue landed him on injured reserve.
Redmond will return as Frederick’s primary reserve, especially with Looney slated to test the unrestricted free-agent waters on March 18. The Cowboys also have two other offensive linemen hitting the open market: guard Xavier Su’a-Filo and long snapper LP Ladouceur.
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