This will be the first meeting between the two teams on Thanksgiving since 2002. Dallas won that last meeting 27-20.
The Cowboys scored 10 fourth quarter points to pull ahead of Washington, who was coached by Steve Spurrier.
Chad Hutchinson gave the Cowboys the lead in the fourth with a 41-yard touchdown pass to Joey Galloway. For some reason, Danny Wuerffel was the starting quarterback for Washington. It probably didn’t help that Shane Matthews and Patrick Ramsey were the other options.
The loss hurt Washington though as it led to a three game losing streak and would finish the 2002 season with a 7-9 record.
The Thanksgiving win for Dallas was the second in a row for the team. It had been a rough season up to that point and all signs seemed to lead to Dave Campo being let go in the offseason.
It was a notable game for Emmitt Smith as it was his last Thanksgiving Day game as a Dallas Cowboy. Smith would be part of the Arizona Cardinals starting that next season.
In the six Thanksgiving Day meetings, Washington has not won once. The closest they have gotten to beating Dallas was Nov. 28, 1974. Washington lost that game 24-23.
Washington had the lead for most of the game, including in the fourth quarter, thanks to a Duane Thomas 19-yard touchdown run. However, Clint Longley came off the bench in place quarterback Roger Staubach and led the Cowboys back in the game, eventually throwing a game-winning 50-yard touchdown pass to Drew Pearson.
Longley had 203 yards passing and two touchdowns in the win. “The Mad Bomber” as he was called was a rookie at the time and no doubt impressed the people of Dallas. Longley played in four more games during the ’75 season and even started a game and winning it as well.
Longley would get the chance to challenge for the starting spot for the ’76 season. However, those chances went down the drain for Longley as he got into a fight with Staubach during training camp. Longley found himself in San Diego, but his football career didn’t last long after that.
The first time the two teams played on Thanksgiving was 1968. Dallas won that game, which took place in the Cotton Bowl, 29-20.
This Thanksgiving Day match-up will be big for Robert Griffin III. The rookie will get a chance to showcase his skills in front of a national television audience.
Mike Shanahan, Washington’s Coach, has coached twice on Thanksgiving Day against Dallas, both times as part of the Denver Broncos. Denver won both Thanksgiving meetings with Shanahan as head coach, in 2001 and 2005. Brian Griese was the starter for the 2001 game, while Jake Plummer was in the 2005 game.
That’s enough facts for one day though. Enjoy the Thanksgiving Day, as well as all the fun games that will take place Thursday.