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Ranking the 5 best possible Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day matchups

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By: RJ Ochoa

Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

One thing is for certain and it is that the Dallas Cowboys will play on Thanksgiving Day in 2024.

By Wednesday night of this week we will officially know the Dallas Cowboys schedule for the 2024 season. Much of our plans for the fall and winter revolve around when the Cowboys are playing, so understanding the ‘when’ is always a breath of fresh air. History points us in certain directions in terms of what we think the schedule will bring, but obviously until it is known everything is speculation.

One thing that is certain is that the Cowboys will host a game on Thanksgiving Day afternoon per usual tradition. As fans of the team, we are all well-accustomed to incorporating this reality into our celebration, Cowboys fans have, at some point in their life, offered careful instructions to the turkey-preparer so as not to compromise anything related to the game.

We are a long way from Turkey Day in 2024 but extremely close from knowing who will be on the other sideline at AT&T Stadium. In the spirit of schedule fun, we decided to rank the best possible Thanksgiving Day matchups for the Cowboys.


Here is a reminder of all of the teams the Cowboys will be playing in 2024. Obviously the only candidates for the Thanksgiving Day matchup are the home games.

Let’s rank ‘em.


Number 5: Philadelphia Eagles

This year will mark a decade since the Cowboys last hosted the Philadelphia Eagles on Thanksgiving Day, one of the four losses that Dallas took in that magical season. Amazingly that loss was authored by Mark Sanchez at quarterback for Philadelphia, the same one who would go on to serve as the Cowboys’ backup just two years later.

There is no question that games between Dallas and Philadelphia are uniquely intense, but putting that center stage for massive Thanksgiving Day audience to see and experience would be quite interesting. It would also exemplify the classic arguing at cliché Thanksgiving get-togethers. Plus it would offer an opportunity for revenge for 2014.


Number 4: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

One of the more incredible Thanksgiving Day games as a Dallas Cowboys fan came in 2006 when Tony Romo was just beginning his career with the team. The Cowboys routed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and did so wearing their iconic throwback uniforms which added to the whole experience. Ezekiel Elliott gets a lot of credit for the Salvation Army kettle celebration tradition that has sprung up over the last almost-decade, but it was Terrell Owens who first incorporated it into a touchdown move.

Dallas’ last playoff win came over the Buccaneers so meeting them on Thanksgiving could be fun, plus it would be a homecoming of sorts (stretching here) for notable Bucs players Mike Vans and Baker Mayfield.


Number 3: New Orleans Saints

This one made number three on the list for two primary reasons:

  1. Revenge for 2010… come on Roy Williams
  2. It would be a little less intense than some other offerings and it is always nice when the Cowboys get an easy win on Thanksgiving and allow us the rest of the day/weekend to enjoy with important matters tended to

New Orleans has been in a weird rebuilding sort of area ever since Drew Brees retired, but it has now been three years. That is over a thousand days. The Saints hardly present a challenge right now, but you never know obviously and so bringing them to town could be fun.

Revenge has been a common theme of the picks so far and while it was as the quarterback for a different team, Derek Carr was the last signal-caller to beat the Cowboys on Thanksgiving. Restore order!


Number 2: Cincinnati Bengals

Since he entered the NFL four years ago we have yet to see Joe Burrow really take on the Dallas Cowboys. Obviously that is not literally true as the Cowboys hosted the Bengals in Week 2 of the 2022 season. At the time the Bengals were fresh off of their Super Bowl appearance and they trotted into town just one week after Dak Prescott’s thumb injury. Everybody thought Cincinnati (who was 0-1 like Dallas at the time) would cruise to victory and that the Cowboys would begin to fall into a deep hole.

But Cooper Rush entered and saved the day. He helped steady the ship just enough for the talent around him to do the required lifting and the Bengals left AT&T Stadium with two losses through as many weeks. I’m not saying I want them to get revenge or anything, but seeing Burrow in an iconic venue on Thanksgiving Day would be neat.


Number 1: Houston Texans

There is no question that this is the low-hanging fruit, but such is often the sweetest for a reason. Last season robbed us of our opportunity to see brothers Trevon Diggs and Stefon Diggs square up as the former was lost for the year well before Dallas ever traveled to face the Buffalo Bills. This offseason saw Stefon traded to the Houston Texans who just so happen to be a home opponent for the Cowboys. What better Thanksgiving Day treat than the two in-state teams with brothers on their rosters do battle?

It is hard to say that there is a real rivalry between Dallas and Houston from an NFL perspective, but the cities’ MLB teams did meet in the ALCS last year. There is an overall city rivalry so to have this NFL matchup on Thanksgiving with brothers involved as noted would be quite special.

Originally posted on Blogging The Boys