Dallas (0-0) vs Arizona (0-0)
When: Thursday, August 3rd 2017
Where: Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton, OH
Time: 8:00 ET | TV: NBC
Opening Odds: Dallas -1/36
The 2017 NFL season is finally here! The annual Hall of Fame Game will get things started with the Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys doing battle in Canton, Ohio. The NFL has been staging its first exhibition game of each summer here since 1962, but if you recall, there was no game played last year here. The matchup between the Colts and Packers was canceled due to poor field conditions. The field gets torn up each Saturday during the Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony and last year, crews were unable to get the field uncovered and painted with enough time for the paint to dry, and when clumps of paint and rubber pellets began to form the league had no choice but to cancel the game. That’s part of the reason why the game was moved to Thursday, ahead of Saturday’s enshrinement. It also allows that ceremony to take center stage over the weekend and not overshadowed by the football game. Teams selected for the Hall of Fame Game have five preseason games and are allowed to report to training camp a bit earlier than the other 30 clubs. The league also tries to schedule teams that have a link to a member being enshrined into the Hall that weekend. Both the Cardinals and Cowboys will have a member with former Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner going in as well as current Cowboys owner and GM Jerry Jones. Other players in the Class of 2017 are kicker Morten Andersen, running back Terrell Davis, safety Kenny Easley, defensive end Jason Taylor and running back LaDainian Tomlinson.
Arizona coach Bruce Arians already has ruled out starting quarterback Carson Palmer and star receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Palmer is 37 and injury prone so the Cardinals will likely start backup Drew Stanton. You can check out the Preseason QB Depth charts to view all teams’ rotations. Fitzgerald is coming off a huge season with 107 catches for 1,023 yards and six touchdowns. He is ninth in league history with 14,389 career yards and could potentially catch No. 2 Terrell Owens (15,934) by early next year and is eighth with 104 TD catches. The Cardinals have a 7-9 preseason record in Arians’ four years. They are 1-2-1 in this game, last playing in 2012 and losing to New Orleans.
It was last August where the Cowboys’ season really took a turn when rookie fourth-round pick Dak Prescott played very well and was suddenly thrust into the starting job when Tony Romo injured his back in an exhibition game against Seattle. Prescott went on to have one of the best rookie seasons ever for a quarterback in winning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Romo won’t be there this season as he’s retired from the game to work for CBS as an analyst. There’s no word on whether or not Prescott will play Thursday, so you might see a lot of Kellen Moore and Luke McCown, who was just signed last week. The Cowboys are just 9-16 in preseason games under Jason Garrett and finished with a winning record once. Dallas is 2-3 in the Hall of Fame Game, last competing in 2013 and beating Miami.
Both of these coaches don’t have the best preseason records, but Arians is a bit better and I like Stanton at QB more than McCown and Moore. Don’t blow your bankroll on preseason games, they are just to hard to predict.
Both Bobby Babowski and myself will take Arizona in this one. Check back next week as we will have our pick in every preseason game leading up to the regular season opener on September 7th between the Chiefs and Patriots. Football is back!
Pick: Cardinals +1.5
- Cowboys are 7-19-1 ATS in their last 27 games on fieldturf.
- Cowboys are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
- Cowboys are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 vs. NFC.
- Cowboys are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 Thursday games.
- Cardinals are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
- Cardinals are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 Thursday games.
- Over is 5-2 in Cowboys last 7 Thursday games.
- Over is 7-0 in Cardinals last 7 games overall.
- Over is 6-0 in Cardinals last 6 games on fieldturf.
- Over is 6-0 in Cardinals last 6 vs. NFC.
- Underdog is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings.
- Home team is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 meetings.
- Cowboys are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 meetings in Arizona.
- Cowboys are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 meetings.