CANTON, Ohio (AP) — Don’t look for too many stars on the field Thursday night when the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals kick off the NFL preseason in the Pro Football Hall of Fame game.
Don’t look for many starters, either.
For those who believe four preseason games are too many, seeing their team play in Canton isn’t a welcome sight. Both coaches, Jason Garrett for Dallas and Bruce Arians for Arizona, will covet getting an extra chance to watch their rookies and fringe guys compete. That’s it.
As for the Dak Prescotts, Jason Wittens and Ezekiel Elliotts from Big D, forget it. Same for Carson Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald and Patrick Peterson for the Cardinals.
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“This will be about the young guys,” Arians says, although top draft choice Haason Reddick of Temple , who is making a switch from defensive end to linebacker, will see limited action, too. He “is not going to play a ton,” Arians said.
Both teams are heading to Ohio from out west, with Dallas holding early training camp in Oxnard, California. The reason they were chosen for the game is simple: Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner will be inducted into the hall on Saturday night. Fitzgerald plans to stay for the ceremonies, as does Witten.
Some things to look for as the Hall of Fame game switches from its usual weekend spot to Thursday night on NBC.
BACK IN THE SADDLE: Kellen Moore is likely to see his first action since the end of the 2015 season with the Cowboys, when he made his first two career starts. He made his NFL regular-season debut off the bench that season, his fourth year in the league. It was mop-up duty back then, with Dallas finishing a 4-12 season ruined by Tony Romo’s twice-broken left collarbone.
Moore broke his right ankle as Romo’s backup in training camp last year, the first domino to fall in Prescott’s path to the starting job. Romo’s back injury last preseason cleared the way for Prescott. Moore is healthy again, and a backup again — this time to the reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
NOT IN THE SADDLE: Not only will Palmer, coming off a mediocre season, be sitting out, so will his backup, Drew Stanton. The quarterbacking duties will fall mostly to journeyman Blaine Gabbert, seeking a spot in Arizona after supplanting Colin Kaepernick as San Francisco’s starter last year. With the 49ers going 2-14,…