Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. It’s the final Thursday in November so you know what that means. Yep, it’s time for your obligatory dose of Dallas Cowboys football. Since 1966, the Cowboys have hosted a Thanksgiving Day matchup, only breaking tradition in 1975 and 1977, and this year’s game will see the Cowboys take on the Washington Football Team in a battle for first place in the NFC East.
No, seriously, the 3-7 Dallas Cowboys and the 3-7 Washington Football Team are playing for first place. But that’s 2020 for you, isn’t it?
This will be the 10th Thanksgiving Day matchup between Dallas and Washington and the Cowboys have owned their rivals in the past.
The Dallas Cowboys have won eight of nine games against the Washington Football Team on Thanksgiving Day
As mentioned, the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Football Team, the team obviously formerly known as the Redskins, have played nine times on Thanksgiving Day over the years with the first matchup taking place back in 1968. Don Meredith threw for 130 yards that day and Craig Baynham and Don Perkins each scored a rushing touchdown as the Cowboys emerged victorious, 29-20.
The most famous matchup between the two teams on Turkey Day took place six years later. The first-place Redskins held a 13-point lead in the second half and were essentially guaranteed a victory when they knocked future Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach out of the game. But rookie Clint Longley engineered a dramatic comeback and hit Drew Pearson with a 50-yard touchdown pass with 28 seconds remaining to give the Cowboys a 24-23 victory.
Dallas won the first six matchups with Washington on Thanksgiving and have also won the last two, the most recent coming in 2018. Here’s a look at the Cowboys’ eight victories.
- 1968: Dallas 29, Washington 20
- 1974: Dallas 24, Washington 23
- 1978: Dallas 37, Washington 10
- 1990: Dallas 27, Washington 17
- 1996: Dallas 21, Washington 10
- 2002: Dallas 27, Washington 20
- 2016: Dallas 31, Washington 26
- 2018: Dallas 31, Washington 23
Washington’s lone win came in 2012
The lone win for the Washington Football Team against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day came back in 2012, which was the rookie year of former Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III.
The Cowboys held a 3-0 lead after 15 minutes but Washington went crazy in the second quarter as RGIII threw three touchdown passes to three different receivers. He connected with Aldrick Robinson on a 68-yarder, Pierre Garcon on a 59-yarder, and Santana Moss on a six-yarder with five seconds remaining in the first half. Alfred Morris added a touchdown run to give Washington a 28-3 leading heading into halftime.
Griffin added a fourth touchdown pass in the fourth quarter and Washington held off a late Cowboys rally and left Big D with a 38-31 win. RGIII threw for 304 yards in the victory.
The winner of this year’s Dallas Cowboys-Washington Football Team matchup will take over 1st place in the NFC East
So we’re now all set for the 2020 Thanksgiving Day matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Football Team. The two teams met just over a month ago in Week 7 with Washington emerging victorious, 25-3. This game is most remembered for the dirty hit from Washington linebacker Jon Bostic on Andy Dalton, which gave the Dallas quarterback a concussion.
As mentioned, both teams enter the game with a 3-7 record but the winner will still take over first place in the NFC East. The Philadelphia Eagles currently hold the lead in the division with a 3-6-1 mark so whichever team can pick up that fourth win will take over. The New York Giants will also have a chance to pick up their fourth win of this Sunday against the Joe Burrow-less Cincinnati Bengals, who were just defeated on Sunday by Washington, 20-9. Dallas also picked up a victory on Sunday by defeating the Minnesota Vikings, 31-28.
If Washington beats Dallas on Thanksgiving Day and New York beats Cincy, the Giants would take over first place in the NFC East as they’ve already beaten Washington twice. If the Cowboys win on Thursday, they would stay in first place no matter what happens with New York as they defeated the Giants in their only head-to-head matchup thus far. The two teams will meet again on the final day of the season.
The Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Football Team matchup begins at 4:30 Eastern/3:30 Central on FOX.
All stats and scores courtesy of Pro Football Reference