What is the Dallas Cowboys’ Thanksgiving record? Vacation wins and loses

The Dallas Cowboys have been a staple of the NFL’s Thanksgiving program since 1966, just six years after the team’s inception.

The Cowboys went undefeated through the holiday until 1972, when they lost 31-10 to the San Francisco 49ers. Over the years, they have won 31 times in the 54 games they played on Thanksgiving.

Dallas cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys have been a Thanksgiving Day fixture since 1966. The team won 31 times of the 54 matches during the holiday.
Getty Images

In 1975 and 1977, then-NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle said the St. Louis Cardinals could replace the Cowboys as the host team.

However, the move backfired in the league. Known as the “Cardiac Cards” for their habit of winning close games, the Cards didn’t seem to have the same nationwide appeal as the Cowboys, who were regular Super Bowl contenders in those years.

The Cardinals also suffered from low attendance on the day, primarily due to schedule clashes with the Kirkwood-Webster Groves Turkey Day Game, a local high school football game. Within a few years, the Cowboys were reinstated as hosts and have played at home every Thanksgiving Day ever since.

Since 1978, the Detroit Lions always get the early slot, while the Cowboys occupy the late afternoon kickoff slot.

The Cowboys’ Thanksgiving game is often the most-watched regular-season NFL television show, while the Lions game regularly ranks in the top five.

In 2022, the Cowboys entertain NFC East rivals New York Giants, with both teams boasting a 7-3 record and hoping the Philadelphia Eagles (9-1) make another mistake.

The Giants have won seven and lost five on Thanksgiving over the years, but the most telling of their record is the three ties they’ve drawn.

The game could go to overtime this year unless the Cowboys replicate the incredible effort that destroyed the Minnesota Vikings 40-3 on the road in their previous game on Nov. 20.

The game kicks off at 4:30pm ET (1:30pm PT) and will be shown on CBS. NFL fans will be treated to a performance by The Jonas Brothers at the Giants vs. Cowboys halftime show, always one of the highlights of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Thanksgiving record held by any NFL team

(Jacksonville Jaguars are the only team not to appear in the holiday game.)

Arizona Cardinals: 6-15-2

Atlanta Falcons: 1-3

Baltimore Ravens: 2-0

Buffalo bills: 5-4-1

Carolina Panthers: 1-0

Chicago bears: 20-15-2

Cincinnati Bengal: 0-1

Cleveland Browns: 0-3

Dallas Cowboys: 31-22-1

Denver Broncos: 4-7

Detroit Lions: 37-43-2

Green Bay Packers: 20-14-2

Houston Texans: 2-0

Indianapolis foals: 2-1-1

Heads of Kansas City: 5-5

Las Vegas Raiders: 4-4

Los Angeles Chargers: 3-1-1

Los Angeles Rams: 4-1

Miami Dolphins: 5-2

Minnesota Vikings: 6-2

New England Patriots: 3-2

Saints of New Orleans: 3-1

New York Giants: 7-5-3

New York fighter jets: 4-4

Philadelphia Eagles: 6-1

Pittsburgh Steelers: 2-6

San Francisco 49ers: 2-2-1

Seattle Seahawks: 2-2

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 0-1

Tennessee Titans: 5-2

Washington Commanders: 4-8

Dallas cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders are pictured during their routine. They will entertain the crowd against the New York Giants on Thanksgiving Day.
Getty Images

The first games played on Thanksgiving Day were held in 1920, and some games pitted amateur teams against professionals, but this didn’t always guarantee a ton of points. In the first year, non-league side Elyria (OH) Athletics drew 0-0 with Columbus Panhandles.

No-score games were not uncommon on Thanksgiving, and in 1925 and 1926 the Chicago Bears and Chicago Cardinals played no-score games; maybe the players were too full of turkey to make it to the endzone.

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