Ever wondered why Dallas Cowboys always play on Thanksgiving?

photo credit DallasCowboys.com

So did I this morning. So I Google’d it and still have questions but was enough to satisfy my curiosity.

So here goes: National Football League games have become just as much a part of Thanksgiving dating back to 1920! The tradition of playing on Thanksgiving actually goes back to 1876, shortly after the game had been invented. In that year, the college football teams at Yale and Princeton began an annual tradition of playing each other on Thanksgiving Day 

Currently, 3 games are played every Thanksgiving. The first 2 are always hosted by the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys, with one team from each conference playing either team on a rotating basis; a third game, with no fixed opponents, has been played annually since 2006.

thanksgiving explanation for dallas cowboys

In recent years, other teams have expressed interest in hosting Thanksgiving games. Lamar Hunt, the former owner of the Chiefs, lobbied heavily in favor of his team hosting a game on Thanksgiving. When the NFL adopted a third prime time game, the Chiefs were selected as the first team to host such a contest.

The Dallas Cowboys, who have a larger TV draw, have had much fewer public calls to be replaced on Thanksgiving Day. One issue that has been debated is a perceived unfair advantage of playing at home on Thanksgiving but over the past years people haven’t complained so much, thank you Tony Romo.

With the introduction of the prime time game, which effectively allows all teams in the league to opportunity to play on Thanksgiving, the calls for Detroit and Dallas to be removed have curtailed. Tonight you can catch Baltimore Ravens welcome the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Anyways that’s the story well at least according to wikipedia and dallas cowboys website. If you know better let me know. I think this is very interesting and never even thought about it til today.

Are you ready for some Football?

Author: Jessica Northey

Everyone asks “what exactly do you do Jessica?” What some of my family members say, “she tweets for a living” is my favorite, but really the title that puts food on the table is “Social Media Influencer,” the definition sounds simple, someone who influences others through social media, but I consider myself a Citizen Journalist broadcasting and entertaining with news, thoughts, opinions, delivering information in my own unique way. Famous for my ‘sass wit and straight from the hip’ style I’ve always been called a “Social Media Pioneer” in the music industry. I’m also an On-Air/Online Broadcasting Host and Personality, Digital Media Strategist, Country and Music Blogger/Journalist as well as a Nationally recognized Speaker and Founder of Country Music Chat, News and Views Entertainment Website CMChatLIVE.com. My favorite accomplishment is starting the largest Country Music Hashtag community in the world Country Music’s #CMChat. It all started with a hunch...back in the early 2000’s I would dial up the internet via AOL and join chat rooms whilst watching my favorite programs on TV. Loved watching Reality Shows with my Mom in Tucson, and blowing her mind with how I always knew who was going home on the Bachelor or Big Brother. Don’t think she ever caught on that I was talking to people via computer on the East Coast, where it had already aired. (We didn’t have the uber-spoiler Twitter or Facebook to ruin results and awards shows for us yet.) I’ve been taking over the internet, one tweet at a time and have accumulated over 3 Million followers/friends/fans across all my Social Media networks. Over the years I’ve been consistently ranked as an influential online personality and even named as a Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer. I was the first person Merle Haggard followed when he got on Twitter and spent the day with Garth Brooks at Twitter and Facebook when joined the social media world.

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  1. I had no idea, Jessica. Thanks for writing about it!

      • Very cool that you took the time to research it for us, Jessica. When I was in high school the city championship game was played on Thanksgiving. There was a cheer that went: “Hey, hey, what do you say? All the way to Turkey Day!”

  2. There were two seasons (1975 and 1977) when the Cowboys did not host a Thanksgiving Day Game.

    The NFL finally listened to all the complaints, and instead allowed the St. Louis Cardinals to host games those two years. I’m told (but can’t find a link) that TV ratings those two years were abysmal. The story then goes that the NFL (or the TV networks) begged the Cowboys to take the game back.

    The story further goes that Tex Schramm agreed on one condition: that the NFL never again take the game away from Dallas. Almost forty years later, the game remains in Dallas. Additional games at other locations have been added, but no one has seriously tried to take the game away from the Cowboys in all that time.

    I believe this story is repeated in Tex Schramm’s biography.

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