As wives across the country get ready to lose their husbands on Sundays for 6 months, the NFL season officially kicked off over the weekend at the Pro Football Hall of Fame complex in Canton, Ohio. An impressive new class was inducted into the Hall on Saturday, including the all-time leader in rushing yards Emmit Smith, all-time leader in receptions Jerry Rice, Dick Lebeau, Ricky Jackson, and Floyd Little. The ceremony's most poignant moment came when Smith spoke to longtime teammate Darryl "Moose" Johnson and, fighting back the tears, said that he could not have done it without him.
The weekend concluded with the NFL's first preseason game Sunday night between the Dallas Cowboys and the Cincinnati Bengals. The Cowboys, who are a popular pick to become the first team to play in a Super Bowl in their home stadium this season, started with an impressive drive to get down to the Bengals 1-yard line before stalling and settling for a field goal. The team pulled it's starters on the next drive. The Bengals struggled on offense for most of the game, scoring their first points in the fourth quarter thanks to a long kick return from rookie wide receiver Jordan Shipley from Texas.
The Cowboys showed impressive depth with their threesome of starter-caliber running backs (Marion Barber, Felix Jones, Tashard Choice), three tight ends who looked impressive in the game, third-string quarterback Stephen McGee had an impressive game, and even without rookie sensation Dez Bryant, a plethora of wide receivers were open throughout the game.
The Bengal's new toy, wideout Terrell Owens, hooked up with quarterback Carson Palmer several times before the starters were pulled, while longtime Bengal Chad Ochocinco was not thrown to. The offense sputtered thanks to horrible play from backup J.T. O'Sullivan before showing positive signs when Carson Palmer's younger brother Jordan entered the game and looked pretty good (although at first I thought Carson had come back in the game, they look so much alike).
So congratulations, football fans, we've made it through another offseason and will have real NFL games back in just a
couple of weeks. Happy football season!