2010 NFL Preseason Hall Of Fame Game: Cowboys Vs. Bengals Preview

James BrownSenior Analyst IAugust 4, 2010

Sunday night the 2010 NFL preseason kicks off when the Dallas Cowboys play the Cincinnati Bengals in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game.

Although it is preseason, the game is expected to be close as BetMania opened the Bengals as a 2.5 point favorite to win the game. They posted the total at 32.5 and to celebrate kickoff they are offering $50 free play on the game. All you have to do is signup here and contact customer service with the promo code: REGAW and they will credit your account.

Preseason football may not seem important but don’t tell that to the owner of the Cowboys, Jerry Jones.

Once he found out Cowboys All-Pro Emmitt Smith was being inducted into the Hall Of Fame he lobbied to have the Cowboys play in this game. He is calling this game a tribute to Smith and hopes to have a decisive home field advantage with the fans that will travel to see the induction.

On the field the Cowboys expect to play their starters for roughly one possession. This is an added fifth game for the Cowboys and they don’t want to risk the starters getting injured. Dez Bryant and Tony Romo are already hurting and the last thing they want to do is add players to that list.

The Cowboys will employ a quarterback rotation of Romo, Jon Kitna, Stephen McGee and Matt Nichols.

The rest of the team returned to a more physical practice on Monday—after having no pads in the four previous weekend practices—with the mindset of getting prepared for an actual game.

Coach Wade Phillips is looking to let the younger kids play more time in the preseason. Phillips said the young guys will “certainly play a lot” in all five preseason games, and uses the practice film as one way to determine playing time.

“We want to give guys who are practicing well the opportunity to show they can compete or help the team or make the team or whatever it is.”

In an attempt to prepare for Cincinnati, the Dallas secondary spent a lot of time working on recognizing and matching up against spread formation sets, especially 4 WR packages.

The Cowboys are not alone as the Bengals are looking forward to getting things started and kicking off the season.

The Bengals should enjoy some home cooking as Canton, Ohio is as close as it gets to Bengal country. The fans have plenty of reasons to make the trip out to see their team.

The Bengals first-round draft pick Jermaine Gresham, signed a contract and will see some time against Dallas on Sunday. He will join a deep and talented offense that is projected to score a bunch of points, since the announcement that Terrell Owens signed with the Bengals.

The Bengals are expected to go with a quarterback rotation of Carson Palmer, JT O’Sullivan, and Jordan Palmer.

The Bengals know their defense will be tested against a talented Cowboys team.

Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer likes what he sees from his defense so far.

“We seem to have good retention from (organized team activities) and last year in what we’re trying to get done,” Zimmer said. “Last night I forgot to put a check in and they made the check from the OTAs. There’s been some good carryover.”

Hall Of Fame Game Pick: Both teams have not played in the Hall Of Fame game in over a decade. They both enter this game with the main goal of staying healthy and evaluating talent.  In the preseason the Bengals are 12-8 against the spread (ATS) for 60 percent over the last five seasons. The favorites are on a 6-1 straight up and 4-2 ATS mark and will get the money in this game. The Bengals have the edge in rotation and by just playing three quarterbacks will get the win to start the preseason.

Play on Bengals -2.5

Finally kick off is here so sit back, enjoy the game, and get your popcorn ready.

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