During a regular week in the NFL, most teams follow a regular schedule in their preparation and work for the games coming up (Monday film, Tuesday off, Wednesday – Friday practice, travel on Saturday). This week is different for 6 NFL teams who will get the pleasure of playing on Thanksgiving Day.
Here in Dallas, the Cowboys are no stranger when it comes to the holiday games. Dallas has played in 41 Thanksgiving games, going 26 – 14 in those games with one tie coming back in 1969 against the San Francisco 49ers (24-24).
But while the Cowboys and the Detroit Lions have made this game part of their history, the rest of the league has rarely “tasted” the Thanksgiving Day game, and the preparation. As Oakland travels to Dallas this year, Raiders coach Tom Cable is trying to find any help he can get on how to prepare his team in such a short week, “I tried to reach out to guys who have done and experienced it and so the biggest thing is kind of stay on track,” said Cable. “You don’t do anything extreme one way or the other. You’ve got to get your work in, you’ve got to get your inspiration in and get your team prepared for a game three days later or four days later.”
While only the Detroit Lions have appeared in more holiday games than the Cowboys (69), the Cowboys enter this week with questions of their own when it comes to preparation.
The Cowboys offense has been sluggish, at best, during the last 3 weeks. Only scoring one offensive touchdown each in their last two games. With QB Tony Romo nursing a sore back and star TE Jason Witten
questionable to play, the Cowboys will need everyone firing on all cylinders this week against an Oakland team that knocked off heavily favored Cincinnati on Sunday.
Whatever ails the Cowboys, the will need to get it fixed. While Oakland spots a shaky run defense their pass defense is pretty good. They’ve got the best corner in the NFL in Nnamdi Asomugha, and a decent pass rush with ex-Cowboy Greg Ellis. While they only rank 12th in the league against the pass, and 24th overall in defense, the Cowboys cannot take them lightly. The Bengals did, and they lost.
A loss to the Raiders and Cowboys fans might form a lynch mob.
With all this excitement it is no wonder Thanksgiving is one of the best days of the year. So sit back, watch football all day, and eat lots of Turkey. The Cowboys will, but whether or not it tastes good is up to them.