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How to watch Cowboys vs. Steelers 2021 NFL preseason game

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott scrambles with the ball in hand
(Image credit: Tom Pennington / Getty Images)

The NFL is back as the Dallas Cowboys will play the Pittsburgh Steelers Thursday, Aug. 5. Okay, it’s just preseason, but we have to start somewhere.

The two iconic franchises will be playing in the annual Hall of Fame Game, which coincides with the NFL’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony taking place on Aug. 8. The Cowboys and Steelers have been tapped for this game because two of their all-time greats are being inducted into the Hall of Fame — Alan Faneca for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Drew Pearson for the Dallas Cowboys. 

Other inductees for the class of 2021 include Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson, John Lynch, Tom Flores, Bill Nunn and Charles Woodson.

The Hall of Fame Game will be the only NFL preseason game taking place this week, as week 1 of the 2021 NFL preseason officially gets rolling on Aug. 12.

As we countdown to the start of the NFL regular season on Sept. 9 — which again will feature the Cowboys playing against Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers — here’s everything you need to know about the Cowboys vs. Steelers preseason game. 

How to watch Cowboys vs. Steelers Hall of Fame Game

The first football action of the season will be broadcast on Fox at 8 p.m. ET, with a Spanish language broadcast of the game available on Fox Deportes. Fox is a local channel that is available on essentially every cable package (barring any ongoing coverage disputes) or can be accessed through a good old fashioned TV antenna.

If you’ve cut the cord on cable, a number of vMVPD services also offer viewers their local primary stations like Fox. This includes Fubo TV, YouTube TV, Sling TV and Hulu with Live TV. Other options for viewing include watching through foxsports.com.

In the event that none of these option are available to you, a virtual private network can help you catch all of the action. A VPN routes the network traffic to and from your computer through a specific set of servers in a specific country, allowing for users to watch content on an encrypted feed.

ExpressVPN is one of the easiest and affordable ways to watch what you want from anywhere you want to watch it. Plus it'll help keep your network traffic away from any prying eyes on public networks.

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What to know about the 2021 Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys enter the 2021 season after a very disappointing 2020 season. They finished the season 6-10, lost quarterback Dak Prescott to a broken ankle early in the season and had one of the worst defenses in the league. Head coach Mike McCarthy, not to mention the Cowboys’ boisterous owner Jerry Jones, will be hoping for a bounce back year.

To do that, Cowboys fans will be happy to see Prescott back from his injury and with a shiny new contract (though he is not expected to play in the Hall of Fame Game). The team has also added first-round draft pick Micah Parsons, a linebacker from Penn State, to try and bolster the defense.

The expectation in Dallas is usually Super Bowl or bust, and it has been bust since 1996 and the dominance of the ‘90s when the team won three Super Bowls.

This won’t be the only preseason action that people can see of the Cowboys this year. The team is also the subject of HBO’s popular series Hard Knocks, which will debut on HBO and HBO Max Aug. 10.

What to know about the 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers are coming off a season when they went 12-4 and won the competitive AFC North. However, the season ended with a bad taste in their mouth following a blowout loss to division rival Cleveland Browns in the opening round of the playoffs.

The Steelers are returning their future Hall of Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and their Super Bowl-winning coach Mike Tomlin, and hope that the pair can recreate the team that went undefeated in the first half of the 2020 season. Things won’t get any easier within their own division, as the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland are looking to take them down.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a D.C.-based entertainment writer and content producer for What to Watch. He previously has written for TV Technology and Awards Circuit.