The Cowboys’ Top 10 Most Memorable Thanksgiving Games

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KXAS/Jane Geelan

Pass the turkey. And, while we’re at it, can we skip last year’s Cowboys game on Thanksgiving, too?

A year we expected an NFC East showdown between 8-3 Dallas and Philadelphia, but were basically served a big helping of coagulated, canned cranberry sauce.

Eagles 33, Cowboys 10 was adorned by Pitbull, and – a long time ago – forgotten by everyone.

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Here’s hoping tomorrow is – like most Cowboys’ Turkey Day games – more memorable.

While former running back Joseph Randle sits in a Kansas jail, Greg Hardy will attempt to devour his former team and the Cowboys – as they did against the Peyton Manning’s Colts in 2006 and Drew Brees’ New Orleans Saints in 2009 – will try to ruin another undefeated season against Cam Newton’s 10-0 Panthers.

Oh, and some newfangled country star named Luke Bryan will bring the Thanksgiving soundtrack down a notch. Or two.

So get ready for the turkey. The dressing. The belt-loosened nap. The relatives and the heartburn, both of which will be slow to depart. And, somewhere in between, football drama.

The Cowboys are 29-17-1 on Thanksgiving, and I’ve already picked them to upset Carolina. Here’s hoping it’s a game that a year from now cracks this list.

The Top 10 All-Time Most Memorable Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Games:

10. 11.25.2010: Saints 30, Cowboys 27 – After trailing 20-6 at halftime the Cowboys rally for a 27-23 lead and were on their way to icing the upset before Roy Williams fumbles after a 47-yard catch inside New Orleans’ 10 with three minutes remaining.

9. 11.26.87: Vikings 44, Cowboys 38 (OT) – Darrin Nelson's game-ending run overcomes Danny White's five touchdowns and drops 5-6 Dallas out of the playoffs.

8. 11.24.05: Broncos 24, Cowboys 21 (OT) – After Billy Cundiff misses a 34-yard field goal late in regulation, Denver's Ron Dayne sets up the heartbreak loss with a 55-yard rumble.

7. 11.23.06: Cowboys 38, Buccaneers 10 – Tony Romo's ascension from free agent to superstar gains traction as his franchise-record tying five touchdowns lead Dallas into first place in the NFC East.

6. 11.26.98: Vikings 46, Cowboys 36 – Rookie receiver Randy Moss haunts the team that passed over him in the draft with three touchdowns and 163 yards receiving.

5. 11.22.01: Broncos 26, Cowboys 24 – Dallas' rally from a 26-3 deficit is thwarted when coach Dave Campo inexplicably shuns a two-point conversion attempt after a Reggie Swinton touchdown in the fourth quarter.

4. 11.23.89: Eagles 27, Cowboys 0 – Philly's Buddy Ryan adds to the "Bounty Bowl" humiliation with a $200 reward for one of his players taking out Cowboys' kicker Luis Zendejas.

3. 11.24.94: Cowboys 42, Packers 31 – With Troy Aikman and Rodney Peete sidelined with injuries and his team trailing 17-3, a Cowboys’ backup quarterback named Jason Garrett steps in and throws for 311 yards and leads Dallas to a record 36 second-half points.

2. 11.25.93: Dolphins 16, Cowboys 14 – Ice storm. Leon Lett. Grumble mumble ... Don’t look now, but it’s been 21 years already.

1. 11.28.74: 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.
 

A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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