By all reports from the NFL meetings in Phoenix, Arizona, the Dallas Cowboys are trying to secure a spot in the Hall of Fame in August. The teams angle is that former Cowboys All-Pro Larry Allen is getting enshrined into the Hall of Fame and Jerry Jones is presenting so he wants to be part of the game. However, it doesn’t take much to find better reasons for Dallas to play in the game.
The Hall of Fame game starts the entire NFL preseason and it means the Cowboys would be able to start training camp a little earlier than other teams. It also means the Cowboys would have an extra game and extra time to work on their new defensive scheme, the Tampa 2 defense.
It’s a smart play by the Cowboys and if they do play in the game, it can be to the team’s advantage. Learning a new scheme is never easy and any added time they can have to input their new defense would be welcomed. The extra practice time can make a big difference and Jones pursuing the game is one of his wisest moves in the offseason.
There are negatives to playing in the Hall of Fame game though, such as injuries, which the Cowboys experienced first hand a few years ago when tight end John Phillips tore his ACL in 2010 game. Phillips was well on his way to an increased role with the Cowboys and he’s never been the same player since the injury. Playing a fifth preseason game does run a higher risk on injury but it’s a gamble the Cowboys should be willing to take. After all, injuries can happen at any time.
Ultimately it’s not up to Jerry Jones who the NFL decides to play in the game but it’s a smart request and the league shouldn’t have a problem with it. Unless the New York Giants‘ John Mara sticks his nose in again to gain another advantage over the Cowboys.