In 2020 the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys were set to kick off the NFL preseason on August 6 for the annual Hall of Fame game during the Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony weekend. Due to Covid-19 not only was the Hall of Fame game canceled, but the entire 2020 NFL preseason was also canceled. The NFL announced that the 2021 Hall of Fame Game will be between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys once again and is fully expected to take play on August 5 at 8 p.m.
What is the Hall of Fame Game?
The Hall of Fame Game is the first exhibition of the NFL season that takes place during Hall of Fame Weekend. Each year the Hall of Fame game takes place at Tom Benson Stadium in Canton, Ohio. The stadium is named after the late Saints Owner Tom Benson who made a significant donation of $10 million to renovate the stadium. There is very little importance in this game, but it’s a great opportunity for players to get out there and compete.
2021 Hall of Fame Class
Quarterback Peyton Manning
Manning is one of the All-Time great quarterbacks in the NFL. Manning a 14-time pro bowler, two-time Super Bowl Champion, and five-time MVP passed for 71,940 passing yards and 539 touchdowns over his time playing for the Colts and Broncos
Offensive Lineman Alan Faneca
Alan Faneca was exactly what you want with a lineman in the NFL, someone who comes in does his job each day and just continues to rack up accolades. Faneca, a nine-time pro bowler, and six-time all-pro guard played most of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers where he won a Super Bowl. Faneca was a dominant lineman and ended his career briefly playing for the Jets and Cardinals.
Wide Receiver Drew Pearson
Drew Pearson is the Dallas Cowboys original number 88. The Cowboys have a very storied history and Drew Pearson is one of the first Cowboys to have had a known legacy from his playing days. Pearson was a 3-time pro bowler and three-time all-pro wide receiver for Dallas. Pearson won one Super Bowl with the Cowboys and is famous for his hail mary catch from Roger Staubach against the Minnesota Vikings in the 1975 playoffs.
Wide Receiver Calvin Johnson
Calvin “Megatron” Johnson was one of the greatest athletes the NFL has ever seen. Johnson, a 6’5” big physical receiver, was nearly unguardable and some of the catches he would make were unbelievable. Teams tried to double or triple team Johnson, but he would still come down with it. Throughout his career, Johnson caught 731 passes for 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns. Johnson retired at the age of 30 after battling injuries.
Safety John Lynch
During his time John Lynch was one of the most dominant safeties in the league. The nine-time pro bowler won one Super Bowl with the Buccaneers over his career. Lynch totaled 1,059 total tackles and 26 interceptions over his career. Lynch is currently the general manager for the San Francisco 49ers.
Safety/Cornerback Charles Woodson
From his days at the University of Michigan football fans knew Woodson was going to be special. Woodson won defensive rookie of the year in 1998, defensive player of the year in 2009, was a nine-time pro bowler, and won one Super Bowl. Woodson had 65 interceptions and 1,220 total tackles over his career.
Coach Tom Flores
Tom Flores is a very well-known coach of the Raiders. While coaching the Raiders Flores won 83 games in nine years and two Super Bowl championships.
Contributor Bill Nunn
Bill Nunn is famous for his work in the Pittsburgh Steelers organization. Nunn is a former scout and front office executive for Pittsburgh and a six-time Super Bowl Champion.
What to Expect?
Now with the Hall of Fame game, there are not a ton of things to expect, but a game played mostly by backup players and players fighting to make the roster. In the Hall of Fame game star players and starters usually make an appearance, but do not end up playing in more than one or two series. Overall, the Hall of Fame Game is the first NFL football game since the Super Bowl, so it doesn’t matter who is playing. It’s just great to have football back.
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