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Should the Lions and Cowboys Play on Thanksgiving? [POLL]

Matthew Stafford, Tony Romo
Getty Images

The Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys are as much of a staple on Thanksgiving as a stuffed turkey.

The teams traditionally play games on Thanksgiving, with the Lions suiting up each year on the holiday going back to 1945 (they also played from 1934-1938). The Cowboys helped carve its “America’s Team” moniker, in part, by taking the field each year on Turkey Day since 1966 (with the exception of 1975 and 1977).

Americans love football and stuffing their faces with food, so it’s a slam dunk for the NFL to play on Thanksgiving. The Lions, though, have taken some heat for playing because, historically, they are not very good and it’s not unusual for them to be out of the playoff race by late November, putting a damper on what’s at stake during the Thanksgiving game. Their Thanksgiving Day record is a very uninspiring 35-38-2.

The Cowboys are clearly more popular than the Lions, so even if they’re not as dominant as they were during their impressive run in the ’90s (Dallas has advanced past the divisional round only three times since winning their last Super Bowl in 1996), fans will watch and care, although the games will certainly draw more fans if they’re good. Dallas is 35-38-2 on Thanksgiving.

Sometimes, though, tradition needs to meet interest. There was a time players wore leather helmets, but that’s no more, so perhaps it’s time to mix things up and let other teams play (although, to be fair, a third game, played at night, was added in 2006). Give the Lions and Cowboys a break and let other franchises play in these traditional Thanksgiving afternoon games More importantly, give NFL fans a break and let them see new matchups with other teams. What do you think?


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