W2W4: Cowboys vs. Redskins
November, 22, 2012
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com
ARLINGTON -- The Cowboys enter their annual Thanksgiving Day game against their NFC East rivals, the Washington Redskins. Before you fill your belly check out our preview:
The series: The Cowboys lead the all-time series, 62-40-2, have won the last three games and six of the last seven. The 62 victories for the Cowboys are the most the franchise has against any other team. Of the 104 played games, 44 were decided by a touchdown or less and six were decided by one point.
Thanksgiving Day series: The Cowboys have hosted 44 of the 46 Thanksgiving Day games. Only twice, in 1975 and 1977, did the Cowboys not play on Thanksgiving Day. But since 1978, the Cowboys have hosted a game in Dallas. The Cowboys are 28-15-1 on the holiday and have have won five of their last six Thanksgiving games, with the only loss coming in 2010 against New Orleans. Dallas last played Washington on Thanksgiving Day in 2002 and won, 27-20.
RG3 does Cowboys Stadium: The only time Robert Griffin III has played in Cowboys Stadium was in 2011, his final season at Baylor. Griffin threw for one score and ran for two more in a 66-42 beatdown of Texas Tech. Griffin said Cowboys Stadium is a beautiful place and he expects the crowd to be loud but also noted he's coming this time as a professional. Despite having family and friends from Waco, Texas and from his hometown of Copperas Cove, Texas, in attendance, this is a business trip.
New starters for Cowboys: The Cowboys may have a new starting running back and left tackle today. Jermey Parnell could start at left tackle over Tyron Smith (ankle) and Lance Dunbar might get the call over Felix Jones (knee). Parnell and Dunbar will make their first NFL starts today. Smith and Jones are listed as questionable on the injury report and not having them puts the Cowboys at a major disadvantage. Also, Jay Ratliff (groin) might be replaced by Josh Brent at nose tackle.
A must-win game: Coach Jason Garrett says every game is big, each and every week. But this one is more than others because the Cowboys have a chance to get within a half game of the New York Giants for first place in the NFC East. The Giants are currently 6-4 and the Cowboys (5-5) have one of their biggest chances of the season to catch the defending champs. Should Dallas win, their record within the division would be 3-1, good for any potential tie-breaker purposes.