Last year, the week of Thanksgiving was kind of a beating for the Dallas Cowboys.
Four days before Thanksgiving Day, the Cowboys defeated the New York Giants in the Sunday night game. That game took place at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and the team didn’t get back to Dallas until early Monday morning.
Three days after that, the Eagles drubbed the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium, 33-10.
Whether anyone at Valley Ranch reached out to the league office to point out that such a quick turnaround is crazy, the NFL has come to just that conclusion and mandated that, moving forward, no team will play on Sunday night going into a short week.
“This schedule eliminates any of those situations,” NFL schedule-maker Howard Katz said, per Peter King’s MMQB. “So no team is playing the Sunday night game prior to a short week Thursday. We think all the teams from a competitive standpoint, and reviewing this with the competition committee, thought this was a major step in the right direction … Some clubs raised it with me. Even if they were successful, they thought it was unfair and put too much of a burden on the players and the coaching staff. I discussed it with the Competition Committee and we never had to have an instance of somebody playing Sunday night and then Thursday.”