The Best and Worst Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Games for Every Decade
Before we kickoff one of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions. Let's take a look back at some Dallas Cowboys history and some we may not want to remember.
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I wanted to do something for the Cowboys fans and the Cowboys haters out there. So let's take a stroll down memory lane of Thanksgiving throughout the years.
BEST: November 23, 1967 Dallas 46, Saint Louis 21
Before the Cardinals were in Arizona, they were the Saint Louis Cardinals and boy were they bad on Thanksgiving back in the day. For a period of time in the 70's, the Cardinals actually got the Thanksgiving game over the Dallas Cowboys. They got their brains beat in every Thanksgiving so they stopped asking to be on the national stage. The Cowboys got one of those big wins back in 1967.
Worst: November 27,1969 (<Nice!) Dallas 24, San Francisco 24
Technically the Dallas Cowboys never lost a Thanksgiving game in the 1960's. Only one game could win for worst Thanksgiving game of the decade. A tie in 1969 versus the San Francisco 49ers. Fun fact, this is before overtime existed in the NFL. If you ended in a tie after four quarters, that was it, game over. Overtime would not be a thing until the 1974 season.
Best: November 28, 1974 Dallas 24 Washington 23
The 70's had some classic Thanksgiving games, but none maybe sweeter than having an epic comeback against a rival. Dallas was down 16-3 at halftime. Roger Staubach goes down and backup Clint Longley comes in to somehow secure a Dallas Cowboys comeback.
Worst: November 22, 1979 Houston 30, Dallas 24
Sadly NFL has every video blocked for this one. This game has several different names, The Battle for Texas or the Governor's Cup. Don't matter, when the two Texas teams come together it is always a good time. Sadly, the Oilers would get the win in Dallas for this one.
Best: November 27, 1980 Dallas 51, Seattle 7
Only one game could be considered the best for this decade because the Dallas Cowboys slaughtered the Seahawks to start out the decade. This would be the start of six straight Thanksgiving wins for the Cowboys, which is their biggest winning streak for the holiday ever. Cowboys defensive tackle Larry Cole jokingly told the NFL they should have a mercy rule because of this game.
Worst: November 23, 1989 Philadelphia 27, Dallas 0
This is one of those games when it comes to the Dallas/Philly rivalry that everyone always brings up. This game has come to be known as The Bounty Bowl. This was Jimmy Johnson's first year as coach and as you know he infamously traded away a lot of star players to accumulate picks. This meant, you were probably going to lose a lot of games and boy did the Cowboys in 1989. Going 1-15, probably the worst loss of the season came on Thanksgiving day. Mainly for the fact it was on a national stage, shut out at home, and the Eagles were trying to intentionally injure some Dallas Cowboys. Alleged bounties were placed on kicker Luis Zendejas and quarterback Troy Aikman if an Eagle injured them enough to take them out of a game. Jimmy infamously said after the game, "I have absolutely no respect for the way they played the game, I would have said something to Buddy, but he wouldn't stand on the field long enough. He put his big, fat rear end into the dressing room."
Best: November 24, 1994 Dallas 42, Green Bay 31
90's is tough to pick for best game (worst game is easy we will get to that). Let's show some love to the former Dallas Cowboys head coach, Jason Garrett. When you think of Jason Garrett you probably think of his dumb smile clapping on the sidelines. What you should think of is him coming in for an injured Troy Aikman and securing a huge Dallas Cowboys comeback in those 1994 uniforms.
Worst: November 15, 1993 Miami 16, Dallas 14
Poor Leon Lett. Actually a very good defensive player on those 90's Dallas Cowboys teams. Unfortunately, his most memorable moments are him messing up a huge play. Thankfully one of them came in a huge Super Bowl blowout win so it didn't really matter, this one though, cost them the game. The Cowboys had some huge Thanksgiving losses in the 90's, but this one hurt the most.
Best: November 26, 2009 Cowboys 24, Raiders 7
Going strictly off uniforms for this one. 2007 had a much bigger blowout win for the Cowboys, but in 2009 it was the 50th anniversary of the AFL. So the Raiders wearing their old school uniforms, along with the Cowboys. Just a good looking uniform matchup, plus a big Dallas win.
Worst: November 27, 2003 Miami 40, Dallas 21
A lot to choose from for worst games in the early 2000's. A lot of bad games on Thanksgiving. I'll just choose the biggest blowout. Getting 40 put on you on national television never feels good.
Best: November 22, 2018 Dallas 31, Washington 23
Not a lot of big blowouts on Thanksgiving for the 2010's (at least not ones where the Cowboys win). I will take the most recent Washington game of that decade as the best. Not a lot to choose from honestly.
Worst: November 26, 2015 Carolina 33, Dallas 14
I'm putting this one at worst because this is when I felt Tony Romo's career was officially over. He injured his clavicle in this game and could not stand up for quite a bit. His season was over, but to me I thought his career was over at that point. You could feel it in the stands, not a fun day to be a Cowboys game. Yeah, he came back next year, but got hurt after three plays in a preseason game. I knew Tony was done after this game.
I'll save the 2020's for once the decade is over. Have a good Thanksgiving and as always...Go Cowboys!
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