Skip to main content

Dallas Cowboys Top 10 Thanksgiving Memories: New Helmets to New York Giants

From Clint Longley in the clutch to Leon Lett in the snow, the Cowboys on Thanksgiving is always a traditional, appetizing feast.

New helmets. Old friends. Older foes.

The Jones family, the Jonas Brothers, the New York Giants, the Salvation Army and all the other familiar Thanksgiving trimmings centered around - not turkey - but the Dallas Cowboys.

When the Cowboys host their division-rival Giants Thursday afternoon at AT&T Stadium, it will be both a chance to shoot up the NFC standings and to savor one of the richest, most iconic traditions in American sports.

For all but two years - the St. Louis Cardinals took Dallas' place in 1975 and '77 - since former executive Tex Schramm volunteered his team to play on a holiday in 1966, the Cowboys' late-afternoon kickoff has been a Thanksgiving staple. The turkey and dressing. Relatives and heartburn, both of which painfully linger. The post-lunch nap, which is always too short. The Salvation Army's red kettle. The grand halftime musical act, this year featuring the first repeat performer - Kevin, Joe and Nick Jonas, who also played the Cowboys' final Thanksgiving at Texas Stadium in 2008.

More often than not - with a turkey-day record of 31-22-1 - a Cowboys' win is also on the menu.

Dallas, however, has lost its last three Thanksgiving games, including losses to the Buffalo Bills in 2019, Washington in 2020 and 36-33 in overtime a year ago to the Las Vegas Raiders.

With the Giants coming off a home loss to the lowly Detroit Lions and the Cowboys riding high after the largest road win in franchise history - 40-3 over the Minnesota Vikings - this one sets up for Dallas to get fat 'n happy. And to do so in their throwback alternate helmets.

But through the years Thanksgiving has provided indelible memories - good and bad. The Top 10:

10. 2012 - Washington 38, Cowboys 31: Scintillating rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III burns the turkey and splatters the dressing with three second-quarter touchdown passes en route to a bewildering 28-3 halftime lead.

9. 1987 - Vikings 44, Cowboys 38 (OT): Darrin Nelson’s game-ending, 24-yard touchdown run overcomes Danny White’s five touchdowns and drops 5-6 Dallas out of the playoff race.

8. 2005 - Broncos 24, Cowboys 21 (OT): After Billy Cundiff misses a 34-yard field goal late in regulation, Denver’s Ron Dayne sets up the heart-breaking loss with a 55-yard rumble.

7. 2016 - Cowboys 31, Redskins 26: Dallas pushes its win streak to 10 by getting a combined four touchdowns from rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott and surviving a wild 34-point fourth quarter by recovering a late onside kick.

Scroll to Continue

No image description

obj 3

Odell Beckham Jr. Arrives: VIDEO - Visits to Giants, Bills, Cowboys Officially Begin

Along the way, there have been some revelations from OBJ himself, and "leaks'' from his "circle.'' But today begins his actual set of visits, to the Giants, Bills and Cowboys.

diggs on diggs

Trevon Diggs Named NFL's Best Corner (By Trevon Diggs)! Cowboys Injury Practice Update

Says Cowboys cornerback Trevon Diggs in a statement that is more about his growing self-confidence than any arrogance: "I wouldn’t say another corner is better than me.''

jerry lebron

Cowboys Jerry Jones Responds to LeBron Accusations

Cowboys helping Frogs and chasing Eagles, desperate Mavs' hobbled risk-reward, Rangers' bounce-back blueprint and The Freak's floundering radio ratings, all in this week's DFW sports notebook.

6. 1998 - Vikings 46, Cowboys 36: Rookie receiver Randy Moss haunts the team that passed him over for Greg Ellis in the draft with three touchdowns and 163 yards receiving.

5. 2011 - Cowboys 20, Dolphins 19: A 10-play drive fueled by Jason Witten and DeMarco Murray eats up the final five minutes and sets up Dan Bailey’s game-winning 28-yard field on the game’s final play.

4. 1989 - Eagles 27, Cowboys 0: Philly’s Buddy Ryan injects some “Bounty Bowl” humiliation with a $200 reward for one of his players taking out Cowboys’ kicker Luis Zendejas.

3. 1994 - Cowboys 42, Packers 31: With Troy Aikman and Rodney Peete sidelined with injuries and his team trailing 17-3, Jason Garrett steps in and throws for 311 yards and leads Dallas to a record 36 second-half points.

2. 1993 - Dolphins 16, Cowboys 14: Ice storm. Leon Lett. You know the rest. Grumble mumble …

1. 1974 - Cowboys 24, Redskins 23: Replacing an injured Roger Staubach, Abilene Christian rookie Clint Longley — making his first NFL appearance — orchestrates a dramatic and improbable rally, climaxed by a 50-yard touchdown pass to Drew Pearson with 28 seconds remaining.

Follow Richie Whitt on Twitter

Want the latest in breaking news and insider information on the Dallas Cowboys?

America's Team ALERT! Get your Dallas Cowboys game TICKETS from SI Tickets ... here!

Follow FishSports on Twitter

Follow Cowboys / Fish on Facebook

Subscribe to the Cowboys Fish Report on YouTube for constant daily Cowboys live-stream podcasts and reports!