Even though tonight‘s Hall of Fame Game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys is the first contest of the 2021 preseason, there was a little expectation that many high-profile players for either team would suit up. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has already specifically named player such as Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Heyward, and Joe Haden as ones who will not be participating in the game, and there’s certainly to be many other Steelers, such as T.J. Watt and Stephon Tuitt, who will not be in uniform.
When it comes to the Dallas Cowboys, there is a large contingency of players who did not make the trip to Canton for tonight‘s game. The following 16 players reportedly are not traveling with the Cowboys according to USA Today’s Jori Epstein.
Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyron Smith, Zack Martin are not traveling with Cowboys to Hall of Fame game.— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) August 4, 2021
With the Cowboys holding training camp in Oxnard, California, it’s understandable the players who are not playing in the game and possibly nursing injuries,would stay behind in order to get additional rehab in favor of making a long trip across the country. As for the Steelers, the short trip to Canton creates a situation where players could still join the team much easier rather than stay in Pittsburgh.
There was little doubt players such as Dak Prescott or Amari Cooper would be playing in the Hall of Fame Game, so seeing their names on the list is not a major reason for concern. Additionally, there may be additional Cowboys’ players who traveled with the team and still will not see the field come 8 PM.
Although it is the Pittsburgh Steelers facing the Dallas Cowboys, preseason football games, especially the first one of the preseason, have little to do with the opponent and everything to do with each individual team. Although winning the game is something teams try to do in stadium, it is not the primary goal of the contest. With both teams being given an extra preseason game compared to the other 30 NFL teams, it is a great chance to get both rookies and fringe-of-the-roster players a greater opportunity to create a sample of work.
Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for continued news and updates as the Steelers get set to take on the Dallas Cowboys in tonight’s Hall of Fame Game.