CANTON, Ohio (WJW)– Thursday marked the return of football to Canton and the NFL preseason.
The Dallas Cowboys faced the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game at Tom Benson Stadium. Last year, the enshrinement and game were put on hold because of the pandemic, and so was the preseason. The Steelers won 16-3.
Both teams played their backup quarterbacks, as Ben Roethlisberger stayed on the sidelines and Dak Prescott did not make the trip to Ohio.
On their first possession, Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph fumbled and it was recovered by the Cowboys. Garrett Gilbert led Dallas down the field, but couldn’t get them into the end zone. They ended the drive with a field goal. The next attempt was blocked, keeping the score at 3-0.
The turnovers continued later in the second quarter as Pittsburgh forced a fumble.
Former Ohio State QB and first-round draft pick Dwayne Haskins, who was released by the Washington Football Team, came in for Rudolph. The score remained 3-0 Cowboys at the half.
The first touchdown of the game came mid-way through the third quarter from Steelers running back Kalen Ballage. The extra point was wide right and the score was 6-3 Pittsburgh.
Cowboys QB Ben DiNucci threw a deep pass that was intended for Jeremy Sprinkle, but it was picked off by rookie safety Donovan Stiner. The capped that possession with a field goal. The score was 9-3 Steelers at the end of the third.
The Steelers got another TD on a seven-play, 32-yard drive, topped off by a Joshua Dobbs pass to Tyler Simmons.
The Hall of Fame is welcoming a massive group of former players, coaches and contributors, enshrining the centennial class of 2020, which includes modern-era players and seniors, and the class of 2021.