Since the Dallas Cowboys first Thanksgiving game in 1966, Big D holds an all-time record of 31-22-1 on the holiday.
The Cowboys tradition of playing on turkey day was originated by former general manager Tex Schramm, who oversaw the team when they broke into the NFL in 1960.
It was tough treading early on for Dallas, who didn’t have a winning-season until year seven in the league. Schramm thought playing on Thanksgiving would be a great way to get his franchise more exposure, and 56 years later the tradition lives on.
Thanksgiving hasn’t been joyful for the Cowboys
While the Cowboys historically have a solid record on Thanksgiving, recent years haven’t been so good. Dallas is 3-7 in its last 10 Thanksgiving games with a -90 point differential.
The Cowboys have lost three-straight Thanksgiving games by an average of 13 points.
This year’s opponents, the New York Giants, are 7-5-3 on turkey day. The G-Men have lost their last three games on the holiday dating back to 1992. New York has suffered some rough defeats in that span, losing by an average of 19 points per game.
Cowboys and Giants have little history on Thanksgiving
Despite the teams being divisional rivals since 1970, they haven’t faced off much on Thanksgiving. Dallas and New York’s only Thanksgiving matchup came in 1992 and the Cowboys came out on top 30-3.
Emmitt Smith was the MVP of the game. The Cowboys had 299 yards of total offense and 161 of them came from Smith. Emmitt ran for 120 yards, averaging over seven yards per carry, and had 41 receiving yards.
Biggest Thanksgiving wins in Cowboys history
While the Cowboys recent Thanksgiving games haven’t gone well, Dallas has carved up the opponent in a handful of matchups. Here are the five biggest wins by point differential in franchise history:
1. Cowboys 51 – Seahawks 7 (1980): Seattle had no answer for Dallas’ rushing attack. The Cowboys combined for 200 yards on the ground, led by Tony Dorsett with 107 yards.
2. Cowboys 31 – Jets 3 (2007): Marion Barber and Julius Jones combined for 167 rushing yards, while New York only had 180 total yards of offense.
3. Cowboys 38 – Buccaneers 10 (2006): Tony Romo completed 75% of his passes for 306 yards and five touchdowns, while Bucs QB Bruce Gradkowsi completed 50% of his passes for 120 yards and two interceptions.
4. Cowboys 30 – Giants 3 (1992): Dallas were massive 15-point favorites in the game, but The Triplets made Thanksgiving even sweeter for Cowboys bettors.
5. Cowboys 37 – Redskins 10 (1978): The Cowboys offense exploded for 507 net yards. Roger Staubach accounted for 218 yards through the air and Scott Laidlaw contributed 122 rushing yards.