Owner Jerry Jones wanted to celebrate legendary running back Emmitt Smith's induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame with the Cowboys playing in the annual Hall of Fame preseason game.
Jones has gotten his wish with the NFL's announcement on Wednesday that the Cowboys will face the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2010 preseason Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in Canton , Ohio , on Sunday, August 8.
Kickoff is 7 p.m. on NBC.
The game will be one day after the Hall of Fame Class of 2010 enshrinement, which Smith, Russ Grimm, Rickey Jackson, Dick LeBeau, Floyd Little, John Randle and Jerry Rice.
Smith, the NFL’s all-time leading rusher with 18,355 yards, played for the Cowboys from 1990 – 2002.
The Cowboys’ most recent appearance in the game was in 1999. Cleveland beat Dallas 20-17. Cincinnati ’s most recent appearance was a 14-7 win over the Los Angeles Rams in 1988.
The Cowboys inclusion in the game means they will now have five preseason games and also increases in the likelihood they will split training camp between San Antonio and Oxnard, Ca.
The Cowboys are locked into having camp in San Antonio until 2011 and they have already made contact with Oxnard city officials about spending a couple of weeks there this summer, partly contigent on their participation in the Hall of Fame game.
If it all goes through, look for the Cowboys to open camp in San Antonio for two weeks and then head to Oxnard following the Hall of Fame game.
The game also brings up a lot of interesting story lines for the Cowboys it will be a reunion of sorts for many former Cowboys on the Bengals. Former Cowboys defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer coaches the Bengals defense, which also employs former Cowboys defensive tackle Tank Johnson and former Cowboys safety Roy Williams.
And just think how the juice the story lines will be if former Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens is signed by the Bengals. Chad Ocho Cinco is lobbying Bengals management to sign Owens. It would be Owens' first matchup against the Cowboys since he was unceremoniously dumped last March.