It’s almost time to renew a tradition within a tradition. The first tradition is the Dallas Cowboys playing a game on Thanksgiving. This had taken place annually since 1966, except for two years, 1975 and 1977, when the Arizona Cardinals took the spot. The NFL quickly realized the Cardinals did not exactly have the drawing power of America’s Team, so the Cowboys took back over permanently. The Cowboys are now 32-22-1 on Thanksgiving.
The tradition inside that tradition is taking on the Washington franchise on the holiday. The two teams have played 10 times, with the Cowboys holding an 8-2 record in the matchups. These games have produced some very memorable moments.
The two teams last played in 2020 during the Cowboys lost season with Dak Prescott injured for most of the season. That was a 41-16 blowout as Washington exploded with points late in the game. The other Washington victory was 38-31 in 2012. Overall the Cowboys are just 4-6 in their last 10 Thanksgiving Day game.
The first time these two clubs played on Thanksgiving was in 1968. The Cowboys won that game 29-20 behind some strong running from Don Perkins.
Probably the most famous game between the two squads on Thanksgiving came in 1974. Washington was the dominant team that year, with the Cowboys desperate to win to stay alive in a playoff chase. Washington was winning 16-3 in the third quarter when QB Roger Staubach was injured and had to leave the game.
Enter rookie quarterback Clint Longley. He hadn’t attempted a single pass in the NFL yet. In a crazy comeback win, Longley hit Drew Pearson on a long touchdown strike with 28 seconds left for a 24-23 Dallas victory.
The Washington game that sticks out was the 2012 game when Robert Griffin III stunned the Cowboys 38-31 after the team had lost all six pervious Thanksgiving games against Dallas. Washington won every game the rest of the regular season to finish 10-6 and grab the NFC East crown. Griffin was the Offensive Rookie of the Year that season.
In the 2016 game, rookie Dak Prescott threw for a touchdown and ran for one, while fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliott ran for two touchdowns. They held off Kirk Cousins, who went off for 449 passing yards and three touchdowns, in a 31-26 Dallas win.
In 2023 the two franchises will do it again - play on Thanksgiving. You never know what you’ll get at these games, and if you want to attend check out Event Ticket Center for tickets.
How many of you have been to a Thanksgiving Day game with the Cowboys? Which one did you attend and what do you remember most from it? Hit the comments and let us know.