Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers – NFL Preseason (August 5, 2021)

| August 4, 2021 10:06 am PDT

How to celebrate the NFL’s 100th birthday? With a Hall of Fame Game that features two teams with 11 Super Bowl wins combined – Dallas Cowboys (5) and Pittsburgh Steelers (6).

The game will take place at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio, on Thursday evening. It will mark the beginning of the 2021 NFL preseason.

This is going to be the seventh appearance by both Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, with each team having a 3-3 record.

Who’s getting to 4-3 in the Hall of Fame Game series? Let’s find out!

Cowboys vs. Steelers Odds

Cowboys +1.5-110
Steelers -1.5-110
Cowboys to Win+105
Steelers to Win-110
Over 33 Points-110
Under 33 Points-110

The 1.5-point spread suggests this is going to be a close battle, while the over/under margin shows the oddsmakers expect a low-scoring game.

Dak Prescott Is Out for the Dallas Cowboys

Everything started well for the Dallas Cowboys in 2020. With their QB Dak Prescot breaking the record for most consecutive games with over 450 passing yards (3 straight games), the Cowboys started dreaming of the Super Bowl.

But, their dream turned into a living nightmare after Prescott suffered a season-ending ankle injury. Almost ten months later, the ankle is no longer bothering the two-time Pro Bowler. However, he remains out, the reason being a shoulder injury.

The good news is that he should return in time for the start of the 2021 season. The bad news is that he will probably miss the first game of the NFL preseason.

With no Prescott on the roster, the coach McCarthy will probably give his backups a chance – Ben DiNucci, Garrett Gilbert, and Cooper Rush.

Unfortunately for the Cowboys, none of those QBs is anywhere near Prescott’s level. In fact, without their key man, the Dallas offense looks pretty anemic.

Sure, they do have a couple of rising stars in the team, like 24-year-old running back Tony Pollard, who’s likely to get decent playing time on Thursday. Still, without Prescott to supply him with balls, he probably isn’t going to do much.

There’s another reason why I can’t see the Cowboys scoring much in the first game of the preseason – they’re playing against the Steelers, who are superb in the defense.

It’s All About Steelers’ Defense

In the 2020 NFL season, the Pittsburgh franchise finished in first place in NFC North with 12-4 in the regular season. The season saw the return of Ben Roethlisberger, who had spent most of the 2019 season sidelined due to an injury.

Big Ben did better last year than most NFL fans expected, but the question is, can he keep up his performances much longer? After all, the guy’s already 39!

Yeah, but Tom Brady won the Super Bowl LV at the age of 42 – you might argue. However, the fact is that Roethlisberger is at least 20 pounds heavier than him, with a long history of knee and ankle problems.

To get the most of Big Ben in 2021, the Steelers’ HC Mike Tomlin might decide to put him on the field only when absolutely necessary. And preseason games aren’t necessary!

That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if Roethlisberger missed the Hall of Fame Game entirely. Even if he does feature in the match, he probably will not play for too long. Instead, Joshua Dobbs, Dwayne Haskins, and Mason Rudolph are more likely to be in the spotlight.

With or without Big Ben as the quarterback, the Steelers probably isn’t going to do much against Dallas. Instead, it’s their defense that will stand out.

Actually, it’s not just about the Hall of Fame Game; it’s about the entire 2021 season. The Steelers’ success will probably have to do a lot with how their defensive players perform.

Judging by what we saw the last year, the Steelers are going to be great in the defense. T. J. Watt is their standout player, but the fact is that Pittsburgh has one of the best defenses in the NFL.

Cowboys vs. Steelers Betting Pick

  • Under 33 Points

It’s going to be a close game, that’s for sure. The Steelers are the better team, especially now that it’s clear that Prescott will not feature for the Cowboys.

On the other hand, it’s also very likely that Big Ben will stay out of the football field as well. All of this suggests that it’s going to be a shortage of points on Thursday.

In any other circumstance, under 33 points would seem like a crazy proposition. However, without their starting QBs, neither team looks capable of scoring much.

Zarko Naric
Zarko Naric

Zarko Naric – the World's Greatest Sportswriter, according to his grandma.

Zarko started writing for GamblingSites.com in 2019, covering sports like soccer, tennis, and basketball,  as well as some more niche sports like cycling, for example.

In addition to writing news, picks, and blog pieces focused on sports, Zarko’s also been covering politics, TV/music contests, and so on.

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