CANTON, Ohio -- Nearly one year to the day that the 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game between the Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts was cancelled because of field condition issues, the eyes of the NFL world will be on Canton, Ohio once again.
The NFL’s 2017 season will get kicked off when the defending NFC East Division Champion Dallas Cowboys take on the Arizona Cardinals of the NFC West Division at Tom Benson Pro Football Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio.
Here are five things to know about the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game and Induction Weekend in Canton.
This year marks the third time in the last nine seasons that teams from the same conference will square off in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game.
Since division realignment in the NFL took place in 2002, only two other times have teams from the same conference kicked off the season against each other in Canton. The Cardinals and New Orleans Saints battled in the 2012 contest, and the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans faced off in the 2009 game.
HISTORY AT THE HALL
The Cowboys will match a record when they take the field against the Cardinals tonight, as they make their sixth appearance in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, a preseason exhibition that dates back to 1962, which predates the American Football League’s merger with the NFL in 1970.
Only the Pittsburgh Steelers have played in as many games as the Cowboys. Pittsburgh is 3-3 in its appearances at the Hall of Fame Game, and the Cowboys are 2-3 in the season-opening exhibition.
AKRON ZIPS STAR TO BE INDUCTED
Former University of Akron star defensive end Jason Taylor has reached the pinnacle of individual success on the gridiron, as he will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night.
Over 233 career games, Taylor registered 139.5 sacks, collected three safeties and returned three of his eight interceptions for touchdowns.
Taylor registered double-digit sack totals in six seasons (2000, 2002-2003, 2005-2007), including a career-high and NFL-best 18.5 in 2002 and matched a league record with 29 fumbles recovered. Taylor returned six of those recoveries for touchdowns, which is the most in NFL history.
ANSWERING THE HALL’S CALL
Taylor will be one of seven players/contributors who will be enshrined in the 2017 class.
Along with Taylor, the Class of 2017 includes kicker Morten Andersen, running backs LaDainian Tomlinson and Terrell Davis, safety Kenny Easley, quarterback Kurt Warner and Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones.
The seven men will be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on Saturday, August 5.
HOW TO WATCH GAME
The 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game will air live at 8 p.m./ET on WKYC/TV 3 in Cleveland.