RAIDERS AND BRAIDERS: Dallas Cowboys create a hair raising event on Thanksgiving Day inside AT&T Stadium
Photos courtesy, clockwise from top left: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports; John F. Rhodes/Special to the DMN; Brandon Wade/AP
Just for fun, here are some locks frozen in time by super fast shutter speeds during the annual Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving day game.
No words on what these players and performers were grateful for on the holiday. Good hair, I presume.
Whether blonde, brunette or somewhere in between, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders have hair to die for.
Photo courtesy, Louis DeLuca | DMN | Thursday, November 28, 2013
Dallas Cowboys strong safety Danny McCray (40) and cornerback B.W. Webb (20) gave Oakland Raiders kick returner Taiwan Jones something to dread during the Dallas Cowboys victory at AT&T Stadium.
Photo courtesy: Tom Fox | DMN
Singer, actress, and Grand Prairie native Selena Gomez’ hair was kinky and her skirt was stringy as she performed for philanthropy during the Dallas Cowboys vs.Oakland Raiders halftime show at AT&T Stadium.
Special thanks: Michael Hamtil | DMN
After slogging through a 23-20 overtime victory over the Cleveland Browns, the Cowboys return to the field Thursday to face NFC East rival Washington on Thanksgiving. The Redskins, despite their 4-6 record, are expected to challenge Dallas and the Cowboys have preparing this week to defend quarterback Robert Griffin III, the former Baylor star. Griffin III, in his rookie campaign, has lived up to the hype and now he comes home to Texas, hoping to give Washington its first victory ever at Cowboys Stadium. All eyes will be on him Thursday, including the Cowboys’. Here is a look at how both teams match up:
When the Cowboys run
As each week has passed without DeMarco Murray in the lineup, the Cowboys have become increasingly inured to making do without their starting running back. Murray has missed the last five games because of a sprained left foot and his status is in doubt Thursday. In his absence Dallas has averaged 2.97 yards per carry. If Murray can’t play, don’t expect the results to get any better this week. Backup Felix Jones is also banged up and despite the fact that Washington’s defensive front has been decimated by injuries, the Redskins are allowing 94.6 rushing yards per game – the seventh-lowest average in the NFL.
When the Cowboys pass
Considering that he was operating behind a ramshackle offensive line, quarterback Tony Romo fared especially well last Sunday. Sacked seven times, he still passed for 313 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Romo’s solid outing was made possible, in part by Dez Bryant, who enjoyed his third 100-yard receiving game of the season. But if the pass protection doesn’t improve, it’s uncertain if Romo can sustain this level of performance even against a Redskins defense allowing 289.2 passing yards per game – the fourth-worst average in the NFL.
When the Redskins run
Two rookies have given a once-flagging Redskins rushing attack some bite. Acclaimed quarterback Robert Griffin III and unheralded tailback Alfred Morris have transformed a ground game that was among the least productive last season but is now one of the best. The Redskins are gaining 165 yards rushing yards per game, the second-highest average in the NFL. Dallas, at times, has shown susceptibility while defending the run and is conceding 106.6 yards per game.
When the Redskins pass
This off-season Washington tried to beef up its passing offense with the major acquisitions of Robert Griffin III and free-agent receivers Josh Morgan and Pierre Garcon. But the Redskins have gained only 214.7 yards per game through the air – the 11th-lowest average in the NFL. But while the Redskins’ passing attack may not be prolific it is efficient. Griffin III has thrown only three interceptions versus 12 touchdown passes. He will be tested this week while facing a Cowboys pass defense that is allowing 211.4 yards per game – the sixth-best average in the NFL.
As Dwayne Harris continues to make an impact on punt returns and Dan Bailey converts field goals, the Cowboys’ special teams are no longer viewed as the same bumbling group of units that gave away the ball multiple times, conceded a blocked punt and allowed a 108-yard kickoff return earlier this season. In fact, they have been quite solid. Bailey has converted 90.5 percent of his field goal attempts. Meanwhile, the Redskins’ kicker Kai Forbath, an ex-Cowboy, has made all nine of his attempts since replacing the struggling Billy Cundiff in October. Forbath has bolstered a special teams unit that hasn’t received much production out of returner Brandon Banks this season.
There is little doubt Redskins quarterback and former Baylor star Robert Griffin III will be motivated. He returns to Texas to play his first game as a pro in his home state and all eyes will be on him. With the pressure ratcheted up a bit, will he thrive or crater? Dallas will play a part in answering that question. The Cowboys are 28-15-1 on Thanksgiving, having defeated the Redskins each of the six times they have played them on the holiday. Griffin III and Washington, which has also never won inside Cowboys Stadium, will defy history if they win Thursday.
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There have been years when the Cowboys’ annual Thanksgiving Day classic featured an unfamiliar opponent, not that there haven’t been outstanding, memorable games against the likes of Miami, Denver and New Orleans. But Thanksgiving Day is made for rivalries like the one that is to be renewed at Cowboys Stadium this year.
In truth, rivalry games were precisely the reason original team president and general manager Tex Schramm lobbied for an annual holiday game in Dallas. The team has been playing on Turkey Day since 1966, when the NFL’s schedule-makers sent the Cleveland Browns – themselves a budding rival at the time – to the Cotton Bowl. The Cowboys have traditionally played in the late contest, following Detroit’s home affair, with the NFL only just recently adding a third nighttime matchup on Thanksgiving.
“The league is trying something new by moving the game into primetime television, and we’re happy they picked Dallas. Normally, a Thanksgiving Day NFL game brings one of the biggest ratings of the year,” said Schramm, ever the promoter, back then. “Also, we’ve wanted for several years to establish a Thanksgiving Day game in the Cotton Bowl. People in this area, because of the A&M-Texas game, are used to having football with their turkey. We’re hopeful of adding to this tradition.”
That’s exactly what the Cowboys have done through the years, though it’s certainly odd their traditional matchup has outlasted the longstanding meeting between Southwest Conference and then Big 12 rivals Texas and Texas A&M, who will not play this year for the first time since 1914, in a series that dates back to 1894.
At the professional level, few, if any opponents come to town with the shared enmity of the team’s most bitter NFC East foe, the Washington Redskins. Given how special their annual home-and-home series has been for these past five decades, it’s sort of a shame the Redskins aren’t annual holiday visitors to Dallas – at least in the Cowboys’ eyes, since they’ve never lost to Washington in six Thanksgiving Day clashes leading into this afternoon’s tilt. The Redskins did beat the Lions in 1973, their only Turkey Day trip to Detroit.
Despite the Cowboys’ dominance, there have certainly been some fantastic games played between the two on the holiday, including perhaps the most memorable contest in series history. Here is a look back at the Thanksgiving Day battles between the Cowboys and Redskins.
Nov. 28, 1968 – Cowboys 29, Redskins 20
After rattling off wins in their first six games to start the 1968 season, the Cowboys hit a rough patch in the middle. They dropped two of the three outings before their first matchup with Washington on Nov. 17, sandwiching losses to the Packers and Giants around a victory at New Orleans. The Cowboys’ first win over the Redskins that year began a five-game Dallas winning streak to close out the season – the third of those victories coming in front of a dressing-and-cranberry-stuffed Cotton Bowl crowd of 66,076.
When Don Perkins surged into the end zone on a 9-yard second-quarter run, the Cowboys went up 17-0. Even after Jethro Pugh forced ’Skins quarterback Jim Ninowski to fumble out of the back of the end zone for a safety in the third quarter, Washington fought back, taking a 20-19 lead after touchdown receptions by Jerry Smith and Mike Richter. But Dallas’ Mike Clark nailed a 25-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, and Larry Cole returned a Ninowski interception near the end to seal the win.
Nov. 28, 1974 – Cowboys 24, Redskins 23
In undoubtedly the most exciting Thanksgiving Day matchup between the two teams, and in the discussion for best game in series history, the Cowboys overcame four lost fumbles, an interception and, most crushing of all, the departure of star quarterback Roger Staubach with 9:57 left to play in third quarter after a vicious hit by veteran linebacker Dave Robinson. Washington led 16-3 when an undrafted rookie from Abilene Christian came in to replace Staubach. For his one shining moment as a professional, Clint Longley earned the lifelong nickname “The Mad Bomber.”
First, he shocked the Redskins with a 35-yard touchdown pass to tight end Billy Joe Dupree in the third quarter, with Walt Garrison then plunging into the end zone from a yard out to give Dallas a 17-16 advantage. Washington answered with a 19-yard scoring run by former Cowboys star Duane Thomas just 94 seconds into the fourth period to retake control.
The Redskins then had a chance to make it a two-score game less than three minutes later, but Ed “Too Tall” Jones blocked a field goal. Later, wide receiver Drew Pearson fumbled a 20-yard reception, seemingly cementing his status as a goat (he had dropped a potential game-winning pass against Washington 11 days earlier). However, when the Cowboys got the ball back with 1:45 left in the game, he had a shot at redemption.
First, Longley overcame a fourth-and-6 on a clutch conversion to the aging Bob Hayes. Then, with just 35 seconds left, the ball on the 50-yard line, he dropped back again in desperation and found Pearson streaking downfield for an improbable touchdown.
“They were doubling me,” Pearson said. “I gave them an inside move … and Clint got it to me. It’s real sweet. There are no words to describe it.”
The mood in the opposing locker room was different. The Cowboys had kept their playoff ambitions alive for another week, and put the Redskins’ hopes in doubt.
“I don’t have very much to say,” Washington coach George Allen said afterward. “It was probably the toughest loss we’ve ever had.”
Nov. 23, 1978 – Cowboys 37, Redskins 10
After winning their second Super Bowl title in 1977, the Cowboys stumbled a bit to begin the ’78 campaign, starting just 6-4 to put the postseason in doubt. But after a loss to Miami to start November, they blew out Green Bay and New Orleans and faced a crucial Thanksgiving Day game against Washington, which also entered the holiday at 8-4.
From the very beginning, the Cowboys were in control. They led 20-0 at halftime, following a 53-yard Staubach-to-Pearson bomb, and found themselves up 37-3 in the fourth quarter following a 39-yard Larry Brinson touchdown run. With the Redskins ganging up to stop Tony Dorsett, Scott Laidlaw thrived, rushing for 122 yards on 16 carries with two scores of his own.
The Cowboys wouldn’t lose another regular season game, then beat the Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Rams en route to a berth in Super Bowl XIII. The outcome was a turning point for the Redskins as well, as they did not win another contest and failed to make the playoffs.
Nov. 22, 1990 – Cowboys 27, Redskins 17
After their 1-15 campaign under first-year head coach Jimmy Johnson in 1989, the Cowboys were still a rather rough-around-the-edges football team entering Thanksgiving Day, sitting at 4-7 on the year, though coming off a win over the Rams. Washington, meanwhile was 6-4 and angling for a playoff berth. The Cowboys were getting very little out of first-round pick Emmitt Smith, who had just one 100-yard game under his belt to that point and was often overlooked by offensive coordinator Dave Shula, having failed to reach 20 carries in all but two games before the holiday, though the Cowboys had won both.
The Emmitt Ratio was set. After the Cowboys jumped out to a 10-0 first-quarter lead, they pounded Washington with their rookie runner, handing the ball to him 23 times for what would be a season-high 132 ground yards. He scored two touchdowns on the day, including the biggest play of the game.
With Dallas ahead just 20-17 late in the fourth quarter, he ran through the right side of the Redskins defense to ice the contest. Smith reached 20 carries in each of the next two contests and the Cowboys won, grasping control of their own destiny at 7-7 on the year. Unfortunately, Troy Aikman was injured at the outset of their Week 16 trip to Philadelphia, and any playoff hopes quickly faded.
The Redskins rebounded after Thanksgiving Day and advanced into the second round of the playoffs. Washington would make a third Super Bowl run under Joe Gibbs the next year before being surpassed by the Dallas dynasty of the 1990s.
Nov. 28, 1996 – Cowboys 21, Redskins 10
Fresh off a Super Bowl XXX hangover, the Cowboys started the 1996 season 1-3, including a loss to Chicago on opening night when Smith’s career appeared endangered after he landed awkwardly attempting to sell a play-action fake at the goal line. Almost three months later, the team was trudging along at 7-5, showing signs of age, with Smith’s performance in particular coming into question. He had averaged less than four yards per carry in all but three of the team’s 12 games to that point, seemingly hitting rock bottom leading into Thanksgiving Day with only 18 yards on 11 carries in an ugly loss at New York.
Of course, the NFL’s Not-Yet-All-Time Leading Rusher was far from finished, and he proved it in a rollicking win over Washington at Texas Stadium on Thanksgiving, when a 42-yard burst up the middle of the Redskins defense in the third quarter said emphatically that Smith had a lot of great football left in him. It was his finest game of the year, carrying 29 times for 155 yards and scoring all three Cowboys touchdowns, each from inside the 5-yard line. Aikman was just 9-of-19 for 63 yards on the day, but it didn’t matter, as the Dallas defense dominated and Smith’s constant churning kept them off the field.
The Cowboys’ win made both teams 8-5 on the year, but headed in very different directions. Dallas won its next two games to clinch the NFC East, while the Redskins lost their next two. They would meet again, though Barry Switzer elected to fold up the tent at RFK Stadium in Week 17, the Redskins running through the Cowboys’ reserves for a meaningless victory. Dallas won its home playoff game easily over Minnesota the next week, while the Redskins watched the postseason from home.
Nov. 28, 2002 – Cowboys 27, Redskins 20
The classic rivalry had hit a low point by the early part of the new millennium, as the Cowboys sank to three straight seasons of 5-11, with this Thanksgiving win over the Redskins standing as the last in the Dave Campo era. Staubach and Aikman had given way to Chad Hutchinson in Dallas, while Danny Wuerffel helmed Steve Spurrier’s team.
Still, Smith remained for the Cowboys. This was his last great day with a star on the side of his helmet, the second of only two triple-digit outings of the season – the first had come in his effort to break Walter Payton’s all-time mark against Seattle in Week 8. The future Hall of Famer carried 23 times for 144 yards as the Cowboys erased a 20-10 third-quarter deficit after an interception return by star rookie safety Roy Williams, a 41-yard Hutchinson-to-Joey Galloway strike and a field goal by Billy Cundiff.
Now, a decade later, there are all new faces on both sidelines as the teams meet again on Thanksgiving. With a dazzling rookie quarterback in Washington and a number of young cornerstone players dotting the Dallas roster, the future of the rivalry appears as bright as ever.
YACHTING WITH THE ENEMY: Jerry Jones says his friendship with Dan Snyder enhances Cowboys – Redskins rivalry (Rival Newspaper)
Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder are friends. They do things like ride on yachts together, and film pizza commercials together. Some D.C. fans have reacted negatively to this friendship, worrying that a Redskins owner can’t dream of squashing the Cowboys while simultaneously being close friends with their owner.
Turns out Jones was actually asked this week if the Redskins can still be a bitter rival, despite his friendship with Snyder.
“They are, yes, they are” he said on his weekly radio appearance with New School on 105.3 The Fan. “My friendship with him has NOTHING to do with that. As a matter of fact, have we not all had brothers, sisters, friends where the rivalry or who gets it is more intense than if you were NOT friends? That becomes the case here.
“First of all, this rivalry [began] long before him and long before me. Secondly, it’s bigger than both of us put together. So having said all of that, I just want to figure out a way for the Cowboys to beat the Redskins. Of course if it were the Giants or the Eagles, those are big too, but this Redskins thing is something that’s got more stories, and so storied.”
Jones also talked at length about the threat posed by Robert Griffin III, and the improvement Washington’s offense has enjoyed this season.
“My goodness, with their quarterback and what they’re doing offensively…we’re gonna have to work to come out of here with a win,” Jones said. “I see a guy that is very aware and has the ability to put such pressure on the defense, because he prefers to make time, buy time to throw the ball. They’ve not only coached him to do that, but he prefers it. He’s not a preferred runner, like Michael Vick. He’s a guy that’s using all that skill, all that quickness, all that speed to basically get an opportunity to throw the ball, and that’s what you want.
“He’s really MORE than I think anybody would have thought he would be coming out. The Redskins have a really top quarterback. We know about him here in Texas, we all do. He’s a good one right now, and will make a HUGE difference in our game Thursday….To contain him with his quickness and speed and yet at the same time try to keep his receivers covered is a huge challenge. He really has an accurate arm and a good arm. It’ll be a big challenge.”
Courtesy: Dan Steinberg | Washington Post
Photo: Magic Johnson, Jerry Jones, and Daniel Snyder
IRVING, Texas – History’s on the Cowboys’ side this week as they prepare for their first Thursday night game of the season.
The short week’s typically favored the Cowboys, who are 28-15-1 and have won five of their last six games on Thanksgiving. They’ve played the Redskins more than any other team on Turkey Day, going 6-0 all-time, though past records may not make much of a difference for a Cowboys team dealing with a litany of injuries.
“For years, only a handful of teams were playing on these Thursdays, but everybody is playing on Thursdays this year with the NFL package, so it’s just part of the deal,” said head coach Jason Garrett. “We have a routine we like to get into and we went through the first day of that routine today with our players, and we don’t spend really any time on the game we just played. We get focused on the game that’s coming up as quickly as we can.”
Garrett said the team will make as many quick corrections as possible without getting bogged down on Browns’ film when the time could be better utilized watching the upcoming opponent.
If there was a week the Cowboys could use more time to look at tape of the Redskins and of the past week’s game, it would be this one. The Cowboys allowed seven sacks against the Browns and used a handful of new offensive linemen they’d like to critique. They’re also playing against an opposing quarterback in Robert Griffin III they’ve never seen in person before.
“They are certainly playing different offensive football than they’ve played in the past because of RGIII being their quarterback,” Garrett said. “We certainly have to do our best to get on top of what they’re trying to get done. They’ve certainly been very impressive at different times and they do a variety of things, and we’ve got to make sure we can contain him.”
One of the new Cowboys isn’t accustomed to the typical November short week. Cornerback Brandon Carr’s excited to participate in his first Thanksgiving Day game, and he knows staying as healthy and fresh as possible is critical with only three days off.
A total of 13 players were listed at the Cowboys’ injury report Monday, including eight who didn’t participate at all. The quick work week won’t help any of those athletes who weren’t healthy enough to practice, which includes three offensive linemen.
“The most important thing is to take care of your body,” Carr said. “Everybody’s banged up from such a hard week, but at the same time, a quick turnaround, another big game’s upon us, just get everybody mentally prepared for the challenge of an offense that can do multiple things on the field.”
Linebacker Anthony Spencer said the short week can be tough physically, but the extra time that exists after the game to heal for the upcoming week can help motivate players to push on.
“You just grind through it and try to win the game,” Spencer said. “The game is going to be played regardless, so how you’re feeling or where you are mentally doesn’t’ matter.”
For defensive signal caller and linebacker Bruce Carter, extra studying outside of Valley Ranch becomes essential with less time to prepare.
While most players might have witnessed Griffin on highlight tapes at Baylor or with the Redskins, Carter said the first time he sat down and watched film on the rookie star was Monday morning before and after team meetings. He said he’ll watch more at home, where most of the studying must occur to stay on top of the defense in a short week.
At any point he has free time, Carter said he’ll have his iPad out watching tape. Despite all the injuries sustained by the Cowboys, the mental side of a short week is tougher than the physical side for the linebacker responsible for setting the defense.
“If guys take care of their bodies the right way, you should be fine, but it’s more of a mental thing where you just got done playing one team, now you’re on to another one in a short span, so you’ve really got to learn the game plan fast and execute it as fast as you can,” Carter said. “When you make mistakes, you’ve got to correct them fast.”
THROWBACK 1934: Detroit Lions begin an NFL tradition–hosting annual Thanksgiving Day game (Special Feature)
Thanksgiving Day football, once a tradition among the high schools and colleges of America, has more or less faded into oblivion in most sections of the country.
But it is still alive in the National Football League in two franchise cities, Detroit and Dallas, where Thanksgiving Day football has become a normal, expected way of life. Beginning in 1966, Dallas has missed playing on the holiday only in 1975 and 1977.
However, when it comes to Thanksgiving Day football, NFL style, most fans first think of the Lions and the tradition that was started in 1934. It was their first year in Detroit after a local radio executive, George A. Richards, had purchased the Portsmouth (Ohio) Spartans and moved the team to Detroit. The Spartans were members of the NFL from 1930 to 1933.
With the Spartans, not only was Richards bringing a proven, quality team to Detroit, he was also bringing at least one super-star, Earl "Dutch" Clark, one of the most versatile backs ever to play the game. Clark had an outstanding supporting cast in the Detroit backfield with a big, talented line anchored by Frank Christiansen.
Even though he knew there was some risk in scheduling a game on Thanksgiving Day, Richards also recognized that his Lions were taking a back seat to the baseball Tigers on the sports pages. So as one way of attracting Motor City fans during the team’s first season, he opted for the Thanksgiving Day contest.
The matchup between the Lions and the World Champion Chicago Bears proved to be an all-time classic. The 1934 Lions had not allowed a touchdown until their eighth game and entered the game with the Bears with a 10-1 record. But with 11 straight wins, Chicago had an even better record. Still a win would put the Lions into a first-place tie with the Bears with only a game left, a repeat clash with the Bears in Chicago, just three days later on December 2.
The 26,000 tickets for the Turkey Day clash in the University of Detroit Stadium, were sold out two weeks in advance of the game. It was estimated that another 25,000 would have attended had there been seats available.
The Bears edged out the Lions 19-16 in the classic holiday struggle and then prevailed 10-7 three days later to clinch the NFL Western Division crown.
Not despondent over the last two losses, Richards reasoned that his team had done well in its first year in Detroit. His confidence was rewarded the next year when the Lions won the 1935 NFL Championship. The key game in the title drive came on Thanksgiving Day, when the Lions defeated the Bears 14-2 to clinch the West championship.
Thus the football-on-Thanksgiving tradition became firmly established in Detroit. With the exception of a six-season gap from 1939 to 1944, the Thanksgiving Day game has been played with no interruptions.
The Detroit Lions Thanksgiving Day heritage gained national attention in another way, starting with the very first game in 1934. Knowing the publicity potential of radio, Richards along with NBC Radio, set up a 94-station network to broadcast the Lions-Bears showdown. The famous announcing team of Graham McNamee and Don Wilson described the action.
RELATED: NFL HISTORY – Thanksgiving Day game results 1920-2011
NFL games on Thanksgiving have included some great performances and memorable moments over the years. The legendary Harold "Red" Grange (left) made his pro debut for the Chicago Bears on Thanksgiving 1925. In 2008, quarterback Tony Romo (right) led the Dallas Cowboys to a convincing 34-9 win over the Seattle Seahawks by throwing for 331 yards and 3 TDs.
Riding the high of a monumental win over the defending Super Bowl champs in their own home, the Dallas Cowboys must now prepare for a road tilt with the Seattle Seahawks. By all accounts, this is a “trap” game for Dallas. The ’Boys will be on the road for the second straight week, visiting a Seahawks team that went down against a lackluster Arizona Cardinals squad.
On paper, the Cowboys will be the favorites. In reality, they’re entering a hostile environment – CenturyLink Field is known for being one of the loudest stadiums in the NFL – to face a motivated ball club. The game won’t be a piece of cake for Dallas, and Jason Garrett will make sure his players understand that.
One of the things the Cowboys have on their side is time. After playing in a rare Wednesday night contest, Dallas will have 10 days off to prepare for the Seahawks. In addition to allowing some bodies to heal, the extra rest provides the coaches with a whole lot of time to break down Seattle – their offensive tendencies, their blitzes, and their young, mobile rookie quarterback. 96 extra hours, to be exact.
I’m a big believer in the value of game preparation. Ever watch a college bowl game and notice how prepared the teams look to face one another? Gadget plays, exotic blitzes, perfectly-timed calls. Some of these teams have a month to get themselves ready for their bowl game – a month in which they can uncover just about every possible opponent weakness – and it shows.
And the stats prove that extra time off is of great value in the NFL, too. Although teams were only 16-16 coming out of their bye weeks last year, 2011 was really just an aberration. Since 1990, teams coming off of their bye have compiled a .542 winning percentage. Since the overall winning percentage is obviously an even .500, that’s a pretty substantial jump in 704 total games.
And the Cowboys have been one of the league’s most successful teams following a bye. While the ’Boys have won 55.8 percent of their regular season games since 1990, they’ve notched a victory 69.6 percent of the time following their bye.
Of course, the Cowboys don’t have a full two-week hiatus this time around, but it probably won’t matter. See, Dallas is also quite successful after Thanksgiving Day games, a period when they generally have nine days of rest prior to their next outing.
In the entire history of the organization, the Cowboys have posted a .574 winning percentage. In the week following Thanksgiving, however, they’ve managed a .628 winning percentage, suggesting they’ve benefited from the added rest.
In his short career as the Cowboys’ head coach, Garrett is just 1-2 when given nine or more days off between contests. Three games is hardly a substantial sample size, though, and the Cowboys actually played extremely well in their post-bye 20-16 loss to the New England Patriots last year.
Stats aside, the Cowboys know what’s on the line against the Seahawks: A chance to start the season 2-0 for the first time since 2008. With that as their focus, you know the ’Boys will be prepared to play this Sunday in Seattle.
DALLAS COWBOYS FAMILY FOCUS: Girlfriend’s recovery leaves Dallas Cowboys kicker David Buehler thankful
RIchard W. Rodriguez/ Star-Telegram
IRVING — Their eyes were locked. Blues fixated on blues, as David Buehler recalled the day his girlfriend was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm.
Buehler’s life, once solely consumed by football, had to make room for a possibility that young couples rarely prepare for or ever consider. Brittany Pigrenet, 25, went in for life-saving surgery on the morning of Oct. 22, holding the couple’s 6-week-old son, Bryson, for as long as the hospital staff let her.
“It puts life and everything in perspective,” David said, instinctively turning his gaze and focus on Brittany. “Before I was playing for myself, my family name, my teammates, the organization but now that I’m supporting Brittany and our son, Bryson, it puts everything in perspective.
“You work just that much harder. You put your heart and soul into knowing that I get to come home to the two people I love most.”
Buehler’s professional life with the Dallas Cowboys hasn’t always gone as planned. Drafted as a kickoff specialist in 2009, Buehler became the full-time place-kicker last season and made 24 of 32 field goals. Rookie Dan Bailey took over field-goal duties this season, with Buehler going back to kickoffs.