Mark It On Your Football Calendar

By Chuck Grimes
Updated: February 24, 2010

DALLAS — Emmitt Smith will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August. The Cowboys will be there to celebrate.

The 2010 NFL season will begin with a pair of division winners, the Dallas Cowboys facing the Cincinnati Bengals, in the annual Hall of Fame Game at Canton, Ohio on August 8. It will be shown on NBC-TV.

Cowboys owner-general manager Jerry Jones had lobbied for his team to be involved in the game for the first time since 1999. Former Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith will be enshrined into the Hall a day earlier, and Jones wanted his club to be part of the weekend.

This gives the Cowboys a total of five exhibition games. That increases the possibility of a moveable training camp for the Cowboys.

Jones has investigated the possibility of dividing the camp between Oxnard, Ca., and San Antonio.

The Bengals are appearing in their first Hall of Fame Game since 1988, while the Cowboys last appeared in 1999. Among the Cowboys who played in that game in 1999 include new enshrinee Smith.

In addition to Smith, the 2010 Hall of Fame Class includes 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 and scored a record 164 rushing touchdowns, won four NFL rushing titles and gained 1,000 yards in a record 11 straight seasons.

LeBeau, who is being enshrined as a cornerback for the Detroit Lions from 1959-1972, and the current defensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers, spent 18 seasons coaching in Cincinnati (1980-1991, 1997-2002) including three as the head coach of the Bengals (2000-02).