The Hall of Fame has picked opponents for its annual preseason showdown.
The Dallas Cowboys will face the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday, August 3, 2017, at the new Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio.
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The choice of teams makes plenty of sense, with former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner and Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones both set to be enshrined into the Hall.
This year’s tilt will kick off on Thursday for the first time in NFL history.
On Friday, August 4, the Hall will honor the Class of 2017 during the Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Dinner at the Canton Memorial Civic Center. Then on Saturday, Aug. 5, the Class of 2017 will be formally enshrined into the Hall of Fame during a nationally televised ceremony at the stadium. Sunday’s festivities will include the Enshrinees’ Roundtable and the annual Concert for Legends.
“I kinda get the feel that they wouldn’t mind keeping me,” McFadden said, via The Dallas Morning News. “I was raised in Arkansas. I live here now. Set up my home here in Texas. I’m a Cowboys fan regardless of whether they decide to bring me back or not.”
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If McFadden were to return to Dallas it likely would be on a short, low-level deal as insurance for Ezekiel Elliott. Zeke is a three-down workhorse back, so remaining in Dallas wouldn’t give McFadden many opportunities on the field. The Cowboys currently have Alfred Morris backing up Elliott.
The 29-year-old McFadden appeared in just three regular-season games and one postseason tilt after undergoing offseason elbow surgery. The veteran injured himself trying to save his cellphone from dropping.
Entering his 10th season, McFadden believes having just 24 rushing attempts in 2016 means he’s fresh. In 2015, he toted 239 times for 1,089 yards.
“For me, I still feel fresh,” he said. “Like you said I didn’t get a lot of wear and tear on my body from the season. I only played in the last three regular season games and the playoff game. I feel like I have a lot that I can offer any team as far as being out there and a guy that can carry the load. I don’t feel like I’ve lost a step at all. I feel like that any team that wants to take a shot at me I don’t think it’d be a bad deal for ’em.”
McFadden’s free agency will be interesting. The veteran has some juice left in the tank and can be an asset on both running and passing downs. However, with a very deep draft for running backs, teams might opt to wait to fill out their backfield with cheap mid-round options with more upside.
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“I’m speaking to you, Jerry,” Garrett said in a video filmed last Dec. at the College Football Awards (but posted on Friday by ESPN). “Mr. (coach Jason) Garrett, make it happen. Dak Prescott leads our team right now. I need you to take Tony Romo, take a couple picks, and give them to Cleveland so you can pick me up. Please, I’d love to play in Dallas, just make it happen.”
The ESPN social media producer later clarified Garrett’s answer was “100 percent supposed to be fun,” and in the spirit of the event, the producer said.
After Romo, the Cowboys’ veteran quarterback, was injured in the preseason, Prescott took over the starting role as a rookie and led the Cowboys to the postseason. He was voted Offensive Rookie of the Year. With the quarterback position in good shape with Prescott, the Cowboys’ needs are elsewhere, and defensive end is among them. The Cowboys hold the No. 28 pick of the draft, and even if Romo were part of the discussion, a leap from near the end of the first round to the Browns’ spot at No. 1 overall would surely come with an enormous price tag.
Garrett spoke with a smile, so the suggestion seemed more wishful thinking than anything too serious.
Garrett is considered a strong possibility for the Browns with the No. 1 pick (Cleveland also holds the No. 12 overall pick but Garrett is expected to be long gone by then), and was projected No. 1 to the Browns in NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah’s latest mock draft. It was reported in December that the Browns had an “astronomical grade” on Garrett, who has said he prefers not to play in a cold-weather city.