1968 – Chicago Bears 30, Dallas Cowboys 24
Aug. 3, 1968 – This was a game of big plays. Five out of the seven touchdowns scored came from 47 yards or longer. The scoring began right from the opening kickoff. The Cowboys were forced to retry that kickoff due to a penalty. Cecil Turner then fielded the retake and returned it 88 yards for a touchdown.
Dallas responded midway through the second quarter when quarterback Don Meredith connected with Hall of Fame wide receiver Bob Hayes on a 68-yard touchdown catch and run. Following a second TD throw from Meredith to Lance Rentzel, Turner struck again when he caught a 74-yard touchdown reception from Jack Concannon to tie the game 14-14.
Dallas then took the lead on a field goal, before Hall of Famer Gale Sayers grabbed a short pass from Larry Rakestraw and ran it 47 yards for the score and the lead. Chicago added to their margin with a 32-yard field goal near the end of the third period.
The Cowboys tied the game at 24 on a 15-yard TD pass from Craig Morton to Rentzel at the beginning of the fourth quarter. The game’s final score came with 6:13 left when Dallas punted the ball away and Chicago’s return man Willie Dearion found a seam up the right sideline and returned it 62 yards for the game winning score.
1979 – Oakland Raiders 20, Dallas Cowboys 13
July 28, 1979 – The 1979 Hall of Fame game featured four Hall of Fame players on each of the sidelines. The Cowboys lineup included Tony Dorsett, Roger Staubach, Randy White and Rayfield Wright and was coached by another future Hall of Famer in Tom Landry. Meanwhile, the Raiders had Dave Casper, Ted Hendricks, Art Shell and Gene Upshaw on their roster.
Oakland scored the first 10 points of the game on a one-yard run from running back Art Whittington and a 27-yard field goal by Errol Mann in the first quarter. Dallas got on to the scoreboard in the second quarter with a one-yard plunge by Staubach, but the point after attempt was no good.
Following another field goal by Mann, the Raiders went up 13-6 and as the Cowboys attempted to cut into the deficit before halftime their field goal was blocked by Charles Philyaw and recovered and returned 63 yards for a touchdown by Henry Williams to put the Raiders in front, 20-6. Dallas tacked on a touchdown in the fourth quarter with just over 6 minutes remaining to make it interesting down the stretch. With 25 seconds left the Cowboys had three shots to tie the game from the Raiders 30-yard-line. The final pass from Danny White to Drew Hill fell incomplete in the end zone as time expired.
1999 – Cleveland Browns 20, Dallas Cowboys 17 (OT)
Aug. 9, 1999 – After a three-season hiatus, the Cleveland Browns franchise was back in the NFL and the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game provided a great stage for fans to welcome them back. Extra seating was brought into Fawcett Stadium to accommodate the record crowd.
The fans got their money’s worth as the game needed an overtime period to decide the contest. It remains the only sudden death contest in Hall of Fame Game history.
The game’s first score came early when Terry Kirby plunged in from one yard out to put the Browns up 7-0. The Cowboys knotted up the score at 7-7 early in the second quarter when quarterback Jason Garrett connected with MarTay Jenkins on a 35-yard touchdown pass.
Cleveland struck next and claimed the lead 14-7 with a Tim Couch to Kevin Johnson 24-yard touchdown pass. Dallas responded by scoring 10 points in the last 4 minutes of the first half to take the lead 17-14 into halftime.
Browns kicker Phil Dawson booted a 23-yard field goal in the third quarter to tie the game at 17-17. Both offenses struggled to move the ball in the fourth quarter and with five seconds remaining the Browns tried to win the game in regulation with a 46-yard field goal attempt. But, backup kicker Danny Kight missed wide right and the game was sent to overtime.
The Browns got great field position in the extra period after Daylon McCutcheon intercepted Mike Quinn at the Dallas 49-yard-line. Following a 20-yard pass interference penalty and a few runs up the middle, the Browns sealed the victory with a 20-yard field goal by Dawson at the 8:06 mark of the extra quarter.
2010 – Dallas Cowboys 16, Cincinnati Bengals 7
Aug. 8, 2010 – Through the first three quarters of the game the only points on the scoreboard came from three David Buehler field goals (20, 34, 23 yards). With Dallas leading in the fourth quarter 9-0, they essentially shut the door on any comeback chance for the Bengals when linebacker Brandon Williams stepped in front of a Jordan Palmer pass and returned it 6 yards for a touchdown.
Cincinnati would tack on seven points with 51 seconds remaining in the game after Jordan Shipley returned a punt 63 yards to the Dallas two-yard line. From their Palmer hit Darius Hill for the score.
The big story coming out of this game was the play of both teams’ defenses. Both the Cowboys and Bengals harassed each other’s quarterbacks throughout the evening. Dallas defense racked up four sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and the pick-six.
Cincinnati amassed five sacks, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery.