Thanksgiving Day 1974
A backup saves the day.
Washington came into this game leading the division with an 8-3 record while the Dallas Cowboys were fighting for their playoff lives. After a first half full of field goals, Washington took a 16-3 lead in the middle of the third quarter when disaster struck Dallas. Quarterback Roger Staubach was knocked out of the game and the Cowboys were forced to turn to his backup.
Not only was Clint Longley a backup quarterback, but he was also a rookie who had not thrown one pass yet in his NFL career. Just as you would expect, Longley went 11 for 20 for 203 yards and two touchdowns in a quarter and a half. The last touchdown, with just 28 seconds left and down six, sealed a 24-23 victory in what might be the most improbable Thanksgiving Day win in Dallas Cowboys history.
Thanksgiving Day 1978
The biggest blowout in the holiday’s history.
Dallas did not need much from Roger Staubach on this day in his “revenge” game four years after the fact. The ground game of the Cowboys pummeled Washington’s defense into submission as Dallas nearly rushed for 300 yards on 54 attempts. Dallas running back Scott Laidlaw laid the law on Washington with 122 yards and two touchdowns in a game that was over at halftime. The final score? 37-10, Cowboys.