Everything you need to know about the Cowboys and Thanksgiving Day

©Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Dallas Cowboys fans wear Thanksgiving-themed headgear during the first half an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 at AT&T; Stadium in Arlington, Texas. - Smiley N. Pool/Dallas Morning News/TNS

The Dallas Cowboys are synonymous with Thanksgiving Day football. It’s one of the great traditions in sport and has been since 1966, when the Cowboys beat the Cleveland Browns, 26-14, on a 71-degree day at the Cotton Bowl.

The classic doesn’t get much more classic than when the NFC East rival Washington Football Team is the opponent. The game kicks off at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at AT&T Stadium.

This is the 10th Thanksgiving Day meeting between the teams, five more than the next closest matchup of the Cowboys and Miami Dolphins. The Cowboys are 30-21-1 on Thanksgiving, including 8-1 against Washington. The teams last met on turkey day two years ago, a 31-23 Dallas win.

The Cowboys have hosted the game every year since 1966 except for 1975 and 1977 when the St. Louis Cardinals hosted. Since 1978, the game has been in Dallas-Fort Worth. Forty years ago, the Cowboys dominated Washington, 37-7. Dallas outgained Washington 507 to 201 total yards as Scott Laidlaw rushed for 122 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries and Roger Staubach hit Drew Pearson with a 53-yard scoring pass.

Cowboys’ Thanksgiving game facts and figures:

— The Cowboys won their first six Thanksgiving Day games (1966-71) before the San Francisco 49ers beat them, 31-10, in 1972.

— Longest Cowboys win streak in the series was six games (1980-85).

— Longest Cowboys losing streak was four games (1986-89).

— From 1974 to 1985, the Cowboys went 9-1 on Thanksgiving Day. The lone loss was a 30-24 defeat to the Houston Oilers in 1979.

— The Cowboys have won 20 times by 10 or more points and lost 11 times by 10 or more points.

— Eighteen games have been decided by seven or fewer points.

— The largest margin of victory by the Cowboys was 44 points in a 51-7 blowout of the Seattle Seahawks in 1980.

— The largest loss by the Cowboys was 22 points when the Los Angeles Chargers won, 28-6, in 2017.

— Among Cowboys’ quarterbacks, Danny White has the most wins on Thanksgiving with a mark of 7-1, Tony Romo was 6-3, and Troy Aikman was 5-5. Dak Prescott is 2-2. Don Meredith is the only undefeated Cowboys’ QB on Thanksgiving, going 3-0.

— Former Cowboys coach Jason Garrett was 4-6 on Thanksgiving, including a 26-15 loss to the Buffalo Bills a year ago. First-year Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy was 3-2 on Thanksgiving as head coach of the Green Bay Packers.

— The Cowboys are 5-6 at AT&T Stadium on Thanksgiving.


This story was first published in 2018 and has been edited to reflect updated data.


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