By Joe Berra

When: 8:00 PM ET, Thursday, August 3, 2017

Where: Fawcett Stadium, Canton, Ohio

Betting Line: Dallas -1 Total: 35

TV Coverage: NBC

Well football fans, we got through it! There will be football every week starting this Thursday until the Super Bowl on February 4th in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This year’s NFL preseason opener, the Hall of Fame Game, will feature the Dallas Cowboys (2016: 13-3) facing the Arizona Cardinals (2016: 7-8-1) at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio.

Before we get into the game itself, let’s take a minute to congratulate this year’s Hall of Fame Inductees. This year’s class is headlined by two big name running backs, LaDainian Tomlinson and Terrell Davis. However, the big names don’t stop there, as Dallas Cowboy owner, president and general manager Jerry Jones will also be enshrined, along with long time Miami Dolphin Jason Taylor, former Cardinal QB Kurt Warner, kicker Morten Anderson and safety Kenny Easley. What a class!

These are very hard games to handicap, as we never know who will be playing and for how long. We can’t imagine the first teamers getting a whole lot of reps, but NFL fans come out in droves, as this game has been happening in Canton since 1962.

Arizona Cardinals

This is a Cardinals team in 2017 that has a lot of questions. First one is how will the aging vets hold up? Quarterback Carson Palmer is now 37, and has been injury prone. Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is 33 now, but didn’t show his age last year catching 107 balls for 1,023 and six TD’s. However, these two vets have already been ruled out of this game by Coach Arians, and linebacker Karlos Dansby is also doubtful to play.

The Cardinal defense took some big hits in free agency, and I feel the loss of Tony Jefferson will be felt the hardest. He was the leader of a very effective backfield. Calais Campbell was also a stalwart on the d-line in Arizona for nine years, and his intensity will be missed.

Dallas Cowboys

Sophomore slump is a common phrase being uttered around the Cowboys this offseason. Rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott took the league by storm last year, helping the Cowboys win 13 games and make it to the playoffs.

Zeke led the league in rushing yards with 1631, 318 more than second place finisher Jordan Howard. Prescott held his own, completing 67.8% of his passes, good for 4th in that category to go along with 3,667 yards, with 38 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions.

Questions also surround the Cowboys' team commitment, as many players have been in the news this offseason with various legal issues and suspensions. If they can remain focused, there is no doubt they can win the NFC East again.

Quick Slants

1. As this is an extra preseason game for these two teams, with the third week being when most starters see significant time, don’t expect most starters to play more than a series or two before giving way to the backups.

2. David Johnson is a straight beast, dual threat at the running back position for the Cardinals. He led all players in 2016 with 2,118 yards from scrimmage, including 1,239 yards rushing and 879 receiving.

3. A big question mark for the Cowboys entering the season is Jaylon Smith. The linebacker was drafted in 2016, 34th overall and has yet to play an NFL snap due to a serious knee injury that occurred in his last college game.

The Pick

As previously stated, these games are near impossible to pick, and spreads of greater than 3 are rarely seen. The majority of the preseason will show which team is deeper, and my money is on the Cowboys in this one.

Dallas 21, Arizona 17

Need a little more help with your picks this season? It's time for you to check out Game Advisers.