When I think about the Cowboys, something happens. Blood pressure goes up, I get more snappy, and I tend to have comments ready in the Wal-Mart for each and every Cowboys fans I see.
They politely return the favor. It’s an understood, “Cold War” of words. If you’re a fan of one these two teams you’re prepared for the verbal assault. You laugh at the banter. You wear your team colors with pride knowing that no matter how many Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants fans are out there, they’ll never understand. They want to have beef like this. Beef like this fill seats, and makes you buy a $65.00 jersey even if you know you’re not getting paid for the next two weeks. Couples break up because of this rivalry. Families give each other the stink eye, and work places become very strange bedfellows just by the sight of a Cowboys or Redskins logo.
As you read this you’re shaking your head in agreement. Other fans are spewing venomous thoughts. They’re jealous. There are many ways to describe the Redskins/Cowboys rivalry, but this quote sum it up:
“This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. “ – Joker, The Dark Knight (2008)
But why is this game, which recently revealed on the Redskins’ 2012 Schedule last night, so important? Two reasons:
- Because it is. I really don’t need a reason because I’m a Redskins fan.
- We’ve never beat them on Thanksgiving.
That’s right. I, like you, have endured the treachery of my Turkey day being ruined. For me, it was in 1996 and 2002. That’s when I began to realize just how deep this rivalry goes.
Here’s a quick history lesson:
1968 : Cowboys Win Over Redskins, 29-20 (The Hartford Courant) The Associate Press reported, “Rookie defensive tackle Larry Cole intercepted a wobbly pass and thundered five yards for a touchdown Thanksgiving night to clinch the Dallas Cowboys’ 29-20 victory over the pesky Washington Redskins…”
1974: Cowboy Bomb Shocks Redskins, 24-23. (The Washington Post)
According to their report, the Washington Redskins “…were 35 seconds away from clinching a berth in the 1974 NFC playoffs today when “that rookie,” Clint Longley – also known as the Mad Bomber – shocked them with one or more improbable touchdown passes of recent football history for a 24-23 Dallas Cowboys victory.”
1978:Cowboys Take Over First Place With a 37-10 Rout of Redskins; 3 Games, 104 Points Efficient on Offense,(Los Angeles Times). Here’s a lead that will eat at you: “Next to winning the Super Bowl, the thing the Dallas Cowboys enjoy doing most is beating the Washington Redskins. So the Cowboys’ Thanksgiving afternoon could not have been more enjoyable.”
1990: Dallas Whips Redskins 27-17, (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) The Post-Gazette reported: “Not only do the 1990 Cowboys bear no resemblance to their hapless one- victory predecessors of a year ago, they are suddenly chasing an National Conference wild-card playoff berth. “We’re not just trying to have a break-even year,” Dallas quarterback Troy Aikman said. “We’re looking to win the rest of our games. Our goal is 9-7.”Emmitt Smith rushed 23 times for 132 yards and two touchdowns as Dallas won.”
1996: Boys Are Back Dallas Rocks Redskins As Emmitt Rolls: As reported by the NY Daily News: “Emmitt Smith is fine. Which means the Dallas Cowboys are back.Not only back in a groove, but back in first place in the NFC East. That’s where Dallas is today after an impressive 21-10 victory over the Washington Redskins at Texas Stadium put the Cowboys in a first-place tie with their hated rivals…”
The 2002 headline from the St. Petersburg Times sets up the sequel:
“Dallas extends its hex” Dallas beat Redskins 27-20.
Their report began with: “That game ball for Redskins owner Daniel Snyder must wait. The Cowboys, who have owned the rival Redskins in recent seasons, cooked up their 10th consecutive victory against Washington 27-20 on Thanksgiving Day, stalling coach Steve Spurrier’s plans to give Snyder the game ball he promised when the Redskins finally beat the Cowboys.”
Ten years later, the Thanksgiving Day matchup returns. It’s been a decade, and the haunting of those losses continue.
So while others are stuffing their guts with yams, mashed potatoes, turkey and ham, you know the truth. You’ll know what this win means.
Cowboys fans, I got love for ya, because this “relationship” only makes the game better to watch. However, I hope that RG3 does make my Thanksgiving dinner more enjoyable this year.