2021 NFL Preseason: Cowboys vs Steelers Prediction
It is almost the most wonderful time of the year, a.k.a football season. Training camp is well underway and competition is set to start on Sept. 9, but fans will get to see action starting on Aug. 5 when the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers kick off the preseason. Let’s kick off with our Cowboys vs Steelers prediction!
The Hall of Fame Game will start at 8 p.m. EST and features two teams who both had disappointing 2020 seasons, despite the Steelers winning the AFC North and the Cowboys tying for second in the NFC East.
This game will hopefully shake away any jitters heading into the season and highlight areas of improvement on both sides of the field.
Storylines to Follow
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott will not play on Thursday due to his shoulder strain. Although this is unfortunate for fans, it is a smart and predictable move by the team.
This is a game that does not count for anything other than practice and risking unnecessary injury to a key player would not be smart. It’s early in the preseason; Prescott has plenty of time to get some throws in before the Cowboys open the regular season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Cowboys currently have three backup quarterbacks to choose from with Garrett Gilbert, Cooper Rush and Ben DiNucci all on the list, but Gilbert is the clear No. 2 for Dallas. In the last four practices, Gilbert has been the first-team quarterback and seems to be the front runner.
Gilbert is experienced, having played in seven NFL games for seven teams, including a big game for him against the Steelers last season. It will be exciting for the Cowboys to get another glimpse as to what this talented young player can do.
On the Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger is back at the quarterback position for the 2021 season. However, Pittsburgh struggled in the back half of the season finishing 1-4 and losing to the Cleveland Browns in the wild card round. This came after an incredible 11-0 start to the season, leaving Steelers fans shaking their heads.
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) August 3, 2021
A big part of that descent into an embarrassing finishing record was Roethlisberger’s decline in abilities. He was unable to protect the football and turned the ball over nine times in the last six games of the season. This season will show how much Roethlisberger has left to give to the Steelers as he nears retirement.
It has already been announced Roethlisberger will not compete on Thursday and it is unlikely he will compete in any preseason competition. This is the perfect time for the Steelers to start looking into their younger talent with Roethlisberger possibly playing his last season with the NFL this year. This game will be the start of that quest for their replacement.
Mason Rudolph will start for the Steelers on Thursday and 2019-first-rounder Dwayne Haskins will finish up the first half for his debut in black and gold. Coach Mike Tomlin did state that Joshua Dobbs will also make an appearance, finishing the game for the Steelers.
Haskins and Dobbs are currently competing for the No. 3 quarterback position and this preseason will be an instrumental time for them as they dive into competitive play around the league.
Cowboys vs Steelers Prediction | Final Verdict
The Steelers are the favorite for the Hall of Fame game at -130 while Dallas sits at a +110. I agree the Steelers will come out on top because they have more to prove. Coming off such a horrible record after carrying a perfect one early in the season has left a bitter taste in the franchise’s mouth.
They want to wash that away and are hoping this game will be the first step towards that. Neither team is playing with their stars, for obvious reasons, which will be a nice glance into the possible futures for both of these organizations. Still, even without Prescott on their side, the Steelers should be able to start finding that rhythm they harnessed earlier last season to take the win over the Cowboys.