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Why the Lions and Cowboys Play on Thanksgiving
As the calendar turns from October to November and we regret all the candy we ate, thoughts turn to the Thanksgiving feast thatâs just weeks away. With Turkey Day comes the NFL tradition of the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys playing a mid-week game against rotating opponents. But why do the Lions and Cowboys always play a game on Thanksgiving? Whatâs the story behind it? Settle in while we tell you a tale.
|Photo credit: mlive.com|
Not to be outdone by Detroit, the Dallas Cowboys jumped at the chance to get in on the Thanksgiving publicity in 1966. Having joined the NFL in 1960 as an expansion team to replace the Texans, who left town for Kansas City, the Cowboys werenât Americaâs team from the get go. In fact, they struggled to win games in their first several seasons. 1966 was a turning point for them, however, when they made the NFL Championship game. Many credit their Thanksgiving Day appearance against the Cleveland Browns as the teamâs national introduction, and the teamâs Thanksgiving Day tradition was born. Dallas will play their rivals from Washington in this yearâs matchup.
To get other fanbases in on the fun, the NFL expanded their Thanksgiving Day coverage to include a third game with rotating participants starting in 2006. This year itâs the Falcons and the Saints, and last year it was the Redskins and the Giants. Weâre likely to be napping on the couch by the time that third game rolls around, but weâll be sure to watch the NFLâs two traditional Thanksgiving teams take the field.
|Photo credit: sportshax.com|