Canton, OH – Phillip Tanner and Joseph Randle were the standout performers in the 50th edition of the Hall of Fame Game as the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Miami Dolphins, 24-20, at Fawcett Stadium.
The Hall of Fame Game, which acts as the NFL preseason opener, is one of the signature events of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival and celebrates its new elected inductees.
On Saturday, guard Larry Allen, wide receiver Cris Carter, defensive tackles Curley Culp and Warren Sapp, left tackle Jonathan Ogden, linebacker Dave Robinson and head coach Bill Parcells were all named to the Hall of Fame.
Tanner and Randle paced the Cowboys' rushing attack, with Tanner receiving 10 first-half carries to accumulate 59 yards and a touchdown. Randle added 70 yards on 13 touches.
The Cowboys, who are coming off back-to-back 8-8 seasons and have missed the playoffs in three straight years, played without quarterback Tony Romo, instead shifting between Kyle Orton, Nick Stephens and Alex Tanney.
Romo was made the face of the franchise this offseason, inking a six-year extension worth a reported $108 million. While healthy, he is coming off April back surgery and the Cowboys kept him out just as a precaution.
Ryan Tannehill helped the Dolphins exceed expectations in 2012, guiding the team to a 7-9 record during his rookie season. He played two series on Sunday, passing for 11 yards on 2-of-5 throws.
The Dolphins played without their two top wide receivers, prized offseason acquisition Mike Wallace as well as last season's top producer Brian Hartline. Chad Bumphis ended with five catches for 85 yards.
Lamar Miller, looking to win the Dolphins' starting running back job, didn't do much to help his cause early. He fumbled on Miami's first possession and it led to a Tanner 1-yard touchdown and a 7-0 Cowboys lead.
Miami second-year defensive end Derrick Shelby had two sacks, his second stalling a 12-play Cowboys drive that was highlighted by a 25-yard run from Tanner and capped on a 49-yard field goal by Dan Bailey for a 10-0 lead.
The Cowboys continued to build on their advantage and held a three-possession lead with 6:35 left in the half after Devonte Holloman returned a Matt Moore interception 75 yards for a touchdown.
Moore received most of the first-half snaps and reentered for Miami's final drive of the game, ending 19-for-29 for 238 yards and a touchdown. He helped the Dolphins get in range for Dan Carpenter's 27-yard field goal before halftime to make it 17-3.
Keenan Davis caught a 5-yard touchdown from Pat Devlin early in the fourth quarter and Carpenter booted a 45-yard kick through with 4:50 left to pull the Dolphins within 17-13.
Jared Green hauled in a 32-yard pass to set up a Kendial Lawrence 7-yard touchdown scamper for a 24-13 edge. Moore came back in to lead a 79-yard touchdown march, with his 5-yard TD pass to Kyle Miller accounting for the final margin.