NFL Hall of Fame Game Preview - Miami (0-0) vs. Dallas (0-0) (ET)
(Sports Network) - The past meets the present when the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins kick off the 2013 NFL preseason in the 50th Hall of Fame Game at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio.
The perception in South Florida is that the Dolphins have gone all-in in an attempt to make things tough on the New England Patriots in the AFC East.
Miami certainly made the biggest splash early on in free agency, signing two of the best players available in speedy wide receiver Mike Wallace and Super Bowl winning linebacker Dannell Ellerbe. The Dolphins continued the spending spree from there, bringing in wide receiver Brandon Gibson and tight end Dustin Keller on the offensive side of the ball, along with linebacker Phillip Wheeler and cornerback Brent Grimes to help the defense.
Here's the bad news, though. Miami had to release linebackers Kevin Burnett and Karlos Dansby and lost a solid tight end in Anthony Fasano. The Fish also have to replace their starting left tackle, Jake Long, as well as their best cover corner, Sean Smith, and a very versatile running back in Reggie Bush.
All that said, if second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill improves like most expect, the Dolphins should take a significant step forward in 2013.
"We don't have a very old roster to start with," said Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin. "We can find out a little more about them. It's an honor for us to be a part of this, the 50th anniversary of the Hall of Fame and to be part of the festivities that surround that event. We're playing a team with a great history and tradition like ours in the Dallas Cowboys. It should be fun."
On the field, Wallace's debut as a Dolphin could be delayed due to a groin injury suffered in camp.
"Feeling pretty good, feel like it's getting there," Wallace told reporters after practice Thursday. "A lot more strength in my groin. This is a new situation for me, so I just want to get out there and feel it out, get with my new teammates and have a great time."
The Cowboys' preseason is all about getting quarterback Tony Romo right. Romo missed the team's offseason training activities while recovering from back surgery to remove a cyst in April. The procedure wasn't considered serious but anytime you undergo back surgery there are question marks, especially after Romo signed a monster six-year contract extension in late March, a deal reported to be worth $108 million with $55 million guaranteed.
Dallas coach Jason Garrett has already said that Romo won't play Sunday although the veteran is pressing to get on the field.
"If I did play, it would be a series. Whether you went eight plays or three plays. I'm not sure how much that is going to affect that," Romo told ESPNDallas.com. "Saying that, I still want to play every time I suit up ... but whatever the coaches want."
If everything goes to plan this season, the Cowboys figure to be set at most of the skill positions with Romo throwing to Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and Miles Austin. The offensive line and running game leave a lot to be desired, however, and must be sorted out in the preseason. Dallas made changes to four of its five offensive line positions a year ago and most of them didn't work, meaning more changes are on the horizon. Tyron Smith, a first-round pick in 2011, is the left tackle and everything else is up for debate although first- round pick Travis Frederick is expected to take over the pivot at some point.
Over on defense, the 'Boys fired defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and replaced him with the 72-year-old Monte Kiffin, who worships at the altar of the Tampa-2 defensive philosophy. That means the Cowboys will switch to a 4-3 "under" scheme which requires a Brian Urlacher-type middle linebacker and smart, zone-savvy defensive backs. There is plenty of talent on that side of the ball but whether they will fit in with Kiffin's philosophy is something that needs to be watched.
The Hall of Fame Game is one of the signature events of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Enshrinement Festival that takes place over the weekend. Seven new members will be welcomed into the institution on Saturday, with offensive guard Larry Allen, wide receiver Cris Carter, defensive tackles Curley Culp and Warren Sapp, left tackle Jonathan Ogden, linebacker Dave Robinson and head coach Bill Parcells making up the 2013 class.
Two of the inductees have Cowboy connections. Allen was a 10-time Pro Bowl selection and seven-time All-Pro with Dallas after being drafted by the club in the second-round of the 1994 NFL Draft out of tiny Sonoma State. The Los Angeles native was so dominant he's was named to both the NFL's 1990s All- Decade Team as well as the 2000s All-Decade Team.
Parcells, meanwhile, although better known for being the two-time Super Bowl- winning coach of the New York Giants, coached the Cowboys from 2003 to 2006, compiling a 34-30 mark with the team and piloting Dallas to two postseason appearances.
This will be the Dolphins' fourth appearance in the Hall of Fame Game, with the last one coming in 2005. Miami has never won in Canton, however, losing to Philadelphia in 1978, the St. Louis Rams in 2001 and the Chicago Bears in '05.
The Cowboys will play in the Hall of Fame Game for the fifth time in franchise history. Dallas last played in the game to open the 2010 season.
The Cowboys are 5-2 all-time against the Fish in the preseason.
- Dallas Touchdown - 1-yard run by Phillip Tanner.
(Dan Bailey kick). 8:58 remaining.
- Dallas Field Goal - 49-yarder by Dan Bailey.
- Dallas Touchdown - 75-yard interception return by
DeVonte Holloman. (Dan Bailey kick). 6:35 remaining.
- Miami Field Goal - 27-yarder by Dan Carpenter.
- No Scoring.
- Miami Touchdown - 5-yard pass from Pat Devlin
to Keenan Davis. (Dan Carpenter kick). 9:26 remaining
- Miami Field Goal - 45-yarder by Dan Carpenter.
- Dallas Touchdown - 7-yard run by Kendial Lawrence.
(Dan Bailey kick). 1:57 remaining.
- Miami Touchdown - 5-yard pass from Matt Moore to Kyle Miller.
(Dan Carpenter kick). 0:16 remaining.
Canton, OH (Sports Network) - Phillip Tanner and Joseph Randle were the standout performers in the 50th edition of the Hall of Fame Game as the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Miami Dolphins, 24-20, at Fawcett Stadium.
The Hall of Fame Game, which acts as the NFL preseason opener, is one of the signature events of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival and celebrates its new elected inductees.
On Saturday, guard Larry Allen, wide receiver Cris Carter, defensive tackles Curley Culp and Warren Sapp, left tackle Jonathan Ogden, linebacker Dave Robinson and head coach Bill Parcells were all named to the Hall of Fame.
Tanner and Randle paced the Cowboys' rushing attack, with Tanner receiving 10 first-half carries to accumulate 59 yards and a touchdown. Randle added 70 yards on 13 touches.
The Cowboys, who are coming off back-to-back 8-8 seasons and have missed the playoffs in three straight years, played without quarterback Tony Romo, instead shifting between Kyle Orton, Nick Stephens and Alex Tanney.
Romo was made the face of the franchise this offseason, inking a six-year extension worth a reported $108 million. While healthy, he is coming off April back surgery and the Cowboys kept him out just as a precaution.
Ryan Tannehill helped the Dolphins exceed expectations in 2012, guiding the team to a 7-9 record during his rookie season. He played two series on Sunday, passing for 11 yards on 2-of-5 throws.
The Dolphins played without their two top wide receivers, prized offseason acquisition Mike Wallace as well as last season's top producer Brian Hartline. Chad Bumphis ended with five catches for 85 yards.
Lamar Miller, looking to win the Dolphins' starting running back job, didn't do much to help his cause early. He fumbled on Miami's first possession and it led to a Tanner 1-yard touchdown and a 7-0 Cowboys lead.
Miami second-year defensive end Derrick Shelby had two sacks, his second stalling a 12-play Cowboys drive that was highlighted by a 25-yard run from Tanner and capped on a 49-yard field goal by Dan Bailey for a 10-0 lead.
The Cowboys continued to build on their advantage and held a three-possession lead with 6:35 left in the half after Devonte Holloman returned a Matt Moore interception 75 yards for a touchdown.
Moore received most of the first-half snaps and reentered for Miami's final drive of the game, ending 19-for-29 for 238 yards and a touchdown. He helped the Dolphins get in range for Dan Carpenter's 27-yard field goal before halftime to make it 17-3.
Keenan Davis caught a 5-yard touchdown from Pat Devlin early in the fourth quarter and Carpenter booted a 45-yard kick through with 4:50 left to pull the Dolphins within 17-13.
Jared Green hauled in a 32-yard pass to set up a Kendial Lawrence 7-yard touchdown scamper for a 24-13 edge. Moore came back in to lead a 79-yard touchdown march, with his 5-yard TD pass to Kyle Miller accounting for the final margin.