Will the HOF Game bode well for Cowboys, Bengals in ’10?

Will the HOF Game bode well for Cowboys, Bengals in ’10?

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The Cincinnati Bengals will face the Dallas Cowboys in the 2010 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in Canton’s Fawcett Stadium on Sunday, August 8. The preseason classic kicks off the 2010 preseason schedule.

The Bengals will visit Canton for the first time since 1988 and look to improve on their 1-1 record in the Hall of Fame Game.  Dallas, who last played in the game in 1999, has yet to leave Canton with a victory.

But, head coaches Wade Phillips of Dallas and Cincinnati's Marvin Lewis should find comfort in knowing that each time the Cowboys and Bengals played in the Hall of Fame game in the past, they advanced to the playoffs that season.

The Cowboys won division titles in 1968 and 1979 after starting the year by playing the Hall of Fame Game. Dallas fell to the Cleveland Browns in the 1999 Hall of Fame which marked the only time in series history that overtime was needed to determine a winner. The Cowboys earned wild-card spot that season.

The Bengals, who lost to the Washington Redskins in 1975, advanced to the AFC playoffs as a wild-card team that year. In 1988 the Bengals became the first team to play in the Hall of Fame Game who advanced to the Super Bowl in the same season. The 1994 Chargers and the 2001 St. Louis Rams are the only other team to play in the Hall of Fame Game and the Super Bowl in the same season.

The Cowboys and Bengals meeting in August marks just the sixth time that the Hall of Fame game has featured two playoff teams.

Here’s a glance back at the Bengals and Cowboys results in the Hall of Fame Game.


August 2, 1975
Washington Redskins 17, Cincinnati Bengals 9
Cincinnati got on the scoreboard first as quarterback Ken Anderson hooked up with wideout Isaac Curtis for an 11-yard score.  The Redskins countered with a 48-yard touchdown pass from Billy Kilmer to future Hall of Famer Charley Taylor. Washington added three more points in the second quarter on a Mark Moseley field goal. The Bengals cut it to a one-point game when the defense sacked Redskins QB Joe Theismann for a safety. But the Redskins sealed the victory with a one-yard TD run by running back Mike Thomas in the third quarter.

July 30, 1988
Cincinnati Bengals 14, Los Angeles Rams 7
The ’88 opener was a low scoring affair. But Bengals’ starting quarterback Boomer Esiason played long enough to complete two of his five passes for long gains. The left-hand passer hooked up on plays of 39 and 69 yards to wide receivers Cris Collinsworth and Eddie Brown respectively. Bengals starting strong safety David Fulcher stole the show with two interceptions on the day one of which he returned for 43 yards. 



August 3, 1968
Chicago Bears 30, Dallas Cowboys 24
Even though Dallas came up short in this contest, fans in Fawcett Stadium enjoyed watching the Cowboys’ stars shine brightly. The Cowboys’ wide-open passing attack produced all three of their touchdowns.  Hall of Fame wide receiver “Bullet” Bob Hayes caught two passes for 80 yards including an electrifying 68-yard touchdown. Lance Rentzel scored the other two touchdowns en route to a game-high seven receptions for 120 yards. 

July 28, 1979
Oakland Raiders 20, Dallas Cowboys 13
The Cowboys utilized eight different runners to churn out 113 yards and two touchdowns. Unfortunately, the Cowboys’ normally dependable kicker Rafael Septien struggled this day.  He missed an extra point earlier in the second quarter and then had his 53-yard field goal attempt at the end of the first half blocked and returned 63 yards for a score.

August 9, 1999
Cleveland Browns 20, Dallas Cowboys 17 (OT)
The much anticipated return of the Cleveland Browns was accentuated with a matchup against the Cowboys in the first ever Hall of Fame game televised on Monday Night Football. Dallas was led by QB Jason Garrett, the team’s current offensive coordinator, as they racked up 357 yards of offense. But, it was not enough as a 20-yard field goal by Browns kicker Phil Dawson was the game-winner in the only Hall of Fame Game that went to sudden death.

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