The NFL on Thursday returned to the field for its first exhibition since 2019. The Steelers and Cowboys squared off in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio.
The contest was filled with the typical preseason miscues, and the Steelers came out on top 16-3.
The Steelers’ running game was more consistent than the Cowboys’ rushing attack. While Dallas’ Rico Dowdle led with 43 yards on eight carries, Pittsburgh’s backs were able to generate yardage throughout the game.
Rookie running back Najee Harris was solid in his preseason debut. The Steelers’ 2021 first-round pick notched a team-leading 22 rushing yards on seven carries. Kalen Ballage helped the Steelers’ cause by scoring the game’s lone rushing touchdown.
Joshua Dobbs was the only quarterback to throw a touchdown. The Steelers’ third-string option on Thursday completed 4 of 6 passes for 37 yards and the score. Mason Rudolph notched 84 yards on 6-of-9 passing (he also fumbled), while Dwayne Haskins completed 8 of 13 for 54 yards in his Steelers debut.
Cowboys backup Garrett Gilbert paced the field with 104 yards on 9-of-13 passing.
The Cowboys outgained the Steelers 347-250 for the game, but Pittsburgh won the turnover battle, forcing three Cowboys turnovers while committing only one.
Sporting News tracked live scoring updates and highlights from Steelers vs. Cowboys in the 2021 Hall of Fame Game. Below are the key moments from the NFL’s preseason opener.
Steelers vs. Cowboys score
Steelers vs. Cowboys live updates, highlights from Hall of Fame Game
(All times Eastern)
10:55 p.m. — An incomplete pass ends the game. The Steelers emerge with a 16-3 victory over the Cowboys in the Hall of Fame Game.
10:54 p.m. — Well, DiNucci just scrambled for about 25 yards to pick up the fourth down. There are four seconds left.
10:53 p.m. — DiNucci completed a couple of downfield passes but was sacked by Abdullah Anderson to force a fourth-and-19.
10:49 p.m. — Dobbs rolled out on what appeared to be a bootleg, but he didn’t have a running lane. He tried to pass, but it fell incomplete. The Cowboys will get the ball back with a chance to try out a two-minute drill.
10:46 p.m. — We’ve reached the two-minute warning. The Steelers lead 16-3 and have the ball inside the Cowboys’ 10-yard line. It’s fourth-and-1. They’ll probably go for it to try to get a first down and run out the clock.
10:44 p.m. — Josh Dobbs completes another pass, this one to Anthony Johnson. The Steelers get a first down and an opportunity to bleed more time off the clock.
10:41 p.m. — Reggie Davis muffs the return for the Cowboys. The ball bounced up into his chest and fell back in front of him. Anthony Johnson jumps on the ball and the Steelers retain it in good field position.
10:40 p.m. — The Steelers go three-and-out as well. The two teams are content to keep the clock moving at this point in the contest. Under six minutes left.
10:36 p.m. — The Cowboys go three-and-out and punt back to the Steelers. There’s 7:47 left and the Steelers have a 16-3 lead that they’re unlikely to relinquish.
Score: Steelers 16, Cowboys 3
10:30 p.m. — Touchdown , Steelers. Joshua Dobbs throws a nice pass to an open Tyler Simmons in the end-zone. That, plus Sam Sloman’s extra point, gives the Steelers a 16-3 lead with 8:44 left in the fourth quarter.
10:29 p.m. — Matthew Sexton makes a nice catch, but the throw is well out of bounds. Third and goal for the Steelers, who are up six.
10:26 p.m. — Joshua Dobbs has checked in to the game for the Steelers. He is the third quarterback to play for them and completes a 17-yard swing pass to Trey Edmunds to start the Steelers’ drive.
10:22 p.m. — After JaQuan Hardy came up short of a first-down by one yard, the Cowboys elected to go for it. Ben DiNucci attempted a deep downfield pass, but the Steelers perfectly defended it. The pass fell incomplete and the Steelers get the ball back in great position; inside the Cowboys’ 35-yard line.
10:18 p.m. — Dwayne Haskins hits Rico Bussey coming across the field on third down, but Bussey couldn’t quite get by the Cowboys defender guarding him. On fourth down, Pressley Harvin III comes out and punts it down to Dallas’ 11-yard line.
End of third quarter: Steelers 9, Cowboys 3
10:14 p.m. — Anthony Johnson had a catch for the Steelers but fumbled it. Steelers receiver Isaiah McKoy was able to jump on the ball after it went across the line of scrimmage. First down, Steelers.
10:09 p.m. — After the long completion, the Cowboys can’t move any further. Dallas punts and the Steelers get the ball at the 20-yard-line after a touchback.
10:03 p.m. — DiNucci completes a ball deep downfield to Aaron Parker for 34 yards. The Cowboys are now in Steelers territory.
Score: Steelers 9, Cowboys 3
9:57 p.m. — After missing his first two kicks of the game, Sam Sloman nails a 48-yard field goal. The Steelers extend their lead to six, 9-3.
9:56 p.m. — The Steelers’ offense stalls out. Here comes another field goal attempt.
9:52 p.m. — The Steelers go for it one fourth-and-1 after Anthony McFarland Jr. was tackled just shy of a first down. Kalen Ballage converts.
9:50 p.m. — Right on cue, DiNucci tosses a downfield pass that is intercepted by undrafted rookie Donovan Stiner. Stiner got a nice jump on the ball and had a solid return on the play.
9:49 p.m. — Simi Fekoho draws a pass interference call on the Steelers to jumpstart the Cowobys’ offense. Can Ben DiNucci do anything with the improved field position?
Score: Steelers 6, Cowboys 3
9:43 p.m. — Touchdown , Steelers. Kalen Ballage gets the Steelers on the board with a 5-yard touchdown run. The first TD of the game makes it 6-3 after Sam Sloman misses the extra point, wide right.
9:41 p.m. — A Dwayne Haskins completion and nice runs by Anthony McFarland Jr. and Kalen Ballage sets the Steelers up with a first and goal from the 5-yard line.
9:40 p.m. — Nice return for Matthew Sexton! The Steelers returner breaks a 34-yard return and nearly got through for a score before the punter slowed him down.
9:39 p.m. — DiNucci’s first series didn’t go well. The offensive line struggled to block for him and allowed a tackle for loss on a run and a sack. DiNucci completed his only pass for one yard. Punt upcoming.
9:37 p.m. — Halftime is in the books. Ben DiNucci will lead the Cowboys onto the field for the second half.
9:30 p.m. — Najee Harris logged 22 rushing yards on seven carries in the first half. His day is probably over. Meanwhile, Micah Parsons has three tackles and a fumble recovery for Dallas. A solid showing for both of the first-round rookies.
End of second quarter: Cowboys 3, Steelers 0
9:23 p.m. — The Steelers take a knee. Halftime is here.
9:22 p.m. — Hunter Niswander tries a 52-yard field goal. It’s way off to the right. There’s one second left in the half and the Cowboys have a 3-0 lead.
9:20 p.m. — Isaiah Buggs is whistled for the Steelers’ first penalty of the game. It’s a roughing the passer call. The Cowboys have life; first-and-10 on the 35-yard line with 33 seconds left in the half.
9:16 p.m. — Rico Dowdle gets the Cowboys out of trouble. He breaks off a 25-yard run to give the Cowboys ample breathing room.
9:14 p.m. — Wow, Steelers punter Pressley Harvin III just unleashed a perfect punt. It comes to rest just inches ahead of the goal-line. The Cowboys are backed up big-time for their two-minute drill.
9:11 p.m. — Haskins got one first down, but he can’t lead the team to a second. His pass to Zach Gentry is broken up by a Cowboys defender. It’s fourth-and-5 at the two-minute warning.
9:09 p.m. — Haskins completes his first pass for nine yards. Solid start.
9:08 p.m. — Dwayne Haskins is now in the game for the Steelers. Here’s how the former first-round pick of the Washington Football Team landed with the Steelers.
9:05 p.m. — The Cowboys choose to go for it on fourth-and-15. They actually convert thanks to a catch by Malik Turner, but Turner fumbles it. The Steelers recover and Antoine Brooks gets a nice little return out of it.
9:02 p.m. — There’s our first penalty of the game. The Cowboys are whistled for holding. That sets up a third-and-15 that is nearly intercepted by the Steelers. The Cowboys line up to go for it on fourth-and-15 but then call the first timeout of the game.
8:58 p.m. — Cooper Rush is in at quarterback for the Cowboys. He completes his first pass for 13 yards to Sean McKeon.
8:57 p.m. — Claypool walked off the field under his own power, according to ESPN’s Brooke Pryor.
Chase Claypool atones for the earlier drop with a very, very nice 45-yard catch. Reached out for it and had to dive to catch it. Tried to get up and run for a few extra yards before he’s tackled.
He was down on the field for a while, but walks off. I’d say that’s it for Claypool
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 6, 2021
8:55 p.m. — The two teams are a combined one for three on field goals now. Sam Sloman misses the field goal wide-right. It’s still 3-0 Cowboys.
8:54 p.m. — The Steelers only go backward after Claypool’s injury. They lose two yards on two Najee Harris runs and a Mason Rudolph incompletion that was well behind James Washington. Field goal attempt upcoming.
8:50 p.m. — Uh oh. Chase Claypool makes a great, diving catch for a 45-yard gain, but he’s down after the play. Claypool had 62 catches for 873 yards and nine touchdowns as a rookie.
8:49 p.m. — Erin Andrews is interviewing Ezekiel Elliott on the sidelines. He’s down 10 pounds after “cleaning up” his diet during the offseason.
8:45 p.m. — Well, so much for Knight’s heads-up play. The Cowboys’ short field goal is blocked by the Steelers. The score remains 3-0 in Dallas’ favor.
8:44 p.m. — Heads up play by left tackle Brandon Knight. He lets his man get by Garrett Gilbert who was strip-sacked, but Knight jumps on it. That gives the Cowboys an opportunity to kick a field goal on fourth down.
8:43 p.m. — Peyton Manning is talking about his new, alternate ESPN broadcast with Eli Manning where the two of them will watch football together. He’s also joking about the size of his neck and forehead. Never change, Peyton. Never change.
8:42 p.m. — The Cowboys start the second quarter with a 17-yard catch and run by Sewo Olonilua and a 9-yard run by Rico Dowdle. They’re nearing the red-zone once again.
End of first quarter: Cowboys 3, Steelers 0
8:37 p.m. — On third down, Garrett Gilbert converts again. He completes a 13-yard pass to Sean McKeon. The Cowboys needed 12 yards. First down, Cowboys at the end of the first quarter.
8:34 p.m. — Cedrick Wilson records the biggest catch of the game so far. Garrett Gilbert hits him for a gain of 21.
8:32 p.m. — Najee Harris already has four carries for 18 yards for the Steelers. He also has a 3-yard catch. The Steelers are certainly looking to get him some touches at the beginning of his NFL career.
8:30 p.m. — The Steelers moved the ball out around midfield but Chase Claypool dropped a pass on third down. It was a bit out in front of him, but it was catchable. The Steelers put down to the Cowboys 10-yard line.
8:26 p.m. — Pittsburgh’s offense gets back on the field and Rudolph completes a screen pass to Diontae Johnson. He takes the ball for a first down.
Score: Cowboys 3, Steelers 0
8:22 p.m. — The Steelers get a third-down stop. The Steelers get pressure on Gilbert again and Tre Norwood nearly gets an interception. The Cowboys settle for a field goal and take a 3-0 lead.
8:21 p.m. — The Steelers notch the first sack of the preseason. Alex Highsmith beats Ty Nsekhe at left tackle to bring down Gilbert. It’s Highsmith’s second pressure of the game; he forced Gilbert into an incompletion on the first.
8:20 p.m. — Another third down, another conversion. Gilbert has plenty of time in the pocket and finds Rico Dowdle out of the backfield. Dowdle takes it to the five. First and goal for the Cowboys.
8:18 p.m. — On third down, Gilbert completes another pass. Noah Brown makes a strong-handed catch. First down, Cowboys, at the Steelers’ 20-yard line.
8:16 p.m. — Garrett Gilbert starts at quarterback for the Cowboys. He finds Dalton Schultz for a 15-yard gain on his first pass.
8:13 p.m. — And there’s the first big play of the game. Mason Rudolph drops the ball after hitting Chase Claypool as he came across the formation in the backfield. Cowboys linebacker and first-round pick Micah Parsons jumps on the fumble in the backfield. The Cowboys get the ball for the first time.
8:12 p.m. — Mason Rudolph hits Chase Claypool down the field for another first down. It was an 11-yard gain. Rudolph has looked good throwing the ball so far.
8:10 p.m. — Najee Harris gets his first carry on the next play. He bulls forward for a gain of about five yards and a first down.
8:10 p.m. — First play of the NFL season is a short pass from Mason Rudolph to Diontae Johnson. The Steelers gain seven.
8:09 p.m. — Hunter Niswander kicks it off and Anthony McFarland Jr. catches it for a touchback. The game is on!
8:08 p.m. — Mike Tomlin seems excited to be at the Hall of Fame Game with so many Steelers being honored. He’s looking for “fundamentals” out of rookie Najee Harris. Meanwhile, Mike McCarthy noted that the Cowboys have had a “very good” camp so far.
8:05 p.m. — The Steelers — and more specifically, starting quarterback Mason Rudolph — won the coin toss. They’ll receive.
7:58 p.m. — Almost time for kickoff!
7:52 p.m. — It doesn’t look like Ben Roethlisberger is suited up tonight. That’s not a big surprise, but it looks like it will be the Mason Rudolph, Dwayne Haskins and Joshua Dobbs show on Thursday night for Pittsburgh. Dallas, meanwhile, will roll with Cooper Rush, Garrett Gilbert and Ben DiNucci.
7:51 p.m. — The 2020 inductees have been introduced. After the commercial, we’ll see the eight from the 2021 class. Then, it’s time for football.
7:46 p.m. — They’re introducing the Hall of Fame inductees on the field right now. There are 28 this year, 20 from the class of 2020 and eight from the class of 2021. Click here for the full list of honorees.
7:43 p.m. — Cowboys owner Jerry Jones just announced on the Fox broadcast that Jimmy Johnson will be inducted into the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor. Johnson is being inducted into the Hall of Fame this weekend as part of the class of 2020.
7:35 p.m. — Earlier, the NFL shared the Cowboys’ entrance to the field. Now, here’s the Steelers’ entrance.
7:33 p.m. — Fox’s Jay Glazer provided an update on Dak Prescott’s shoulder injury. He’s not expected to miss time to start the season, but he’s dealing with a unique injury that more often occurs in baseball players. As such, Dallas has reached out to the Texas Rangers for advice about it.
What’s the latest on the Dak and Wentz injuries, and how likely is it that Deshaun Watson stays with the Texans all season? @JayGlazer gives us updates on those stories and more: pic.twitter.com/saXdNGscvj
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) August 5, 2021
7:30 p.m. — In case you’re wondering, this is what Najee Harris looks like in a Steelers uniform. Tonight will be the first NFL action for the team’s 2021 first-round pick out of Alabama.
7:28 p.m. — According to Dale Lolley of DK Pittsburgh Sports , the Cowboys have left 16 players back at their California training facility. With joint practices on deck for them Saturday, we may not see many, if any, Dallas starters.
I’ve heard the Cowboys are going to have a joint practice with the Rams on Saturday — which seems a bit ambitious — so I don’t know that they’ll play anyone of import in this game. In fact, they left 16 players back in California.
— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 5, 2021
7:25 p.m. — The Cowboys are taking the field in their usually white and blue uniforms. The Steelers, meanwhile, will wear black and yellow.
Steelers vs. Cowboys start time
The 2021 Hall of Fame Game between the Cowboys and Steelers will kick off at 8 p.m. ET. The game will be played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, which is located next to the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The stadium is named after legendary former Saints owner Tom Benson.
How to watch the 2021 NFL Hall of Fame Game
Tonight’s Steelers vs. Cowboys game will be broadcast live on Fox with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman on the call. You can also stream the Hall of Fame Game live at FoxSports.com or with fuboTV, which offers a free seven-day trial .
Here is the full TV schedule for the NFL’s Hall of Fame weekend:
|Hall of Fame Game||Thursday, Aug. 5||8 p.m.||Fox, fuboTV|
|2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony||Saturday, Aug. 7||6:30 p.m.||NFL Network, fuboTV|
|2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony||Sunday, Aug. 8||7 p.m.||NFL Network, fuboTV|
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