1974 Clash Between Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins Continues To Top List

Published on November 25th, 2020 4:35 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

We have to go back to year 1974 to find the best Thanksgiving football match of all time. There is practically nothing better than the American tradition of combining the NFL with Thanksgiving.

What better way to spend your Thanksgiving than getting comatose eating and drinking, and then watching a full day of NFL football?

Thanksgiving has produced some classic games and performances.

When it comes to the best Thanksgiving game ever, however, this spot is still reserved for the 1974 clash between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins.

In fact, fans of both teams still talk about this game. In fact, Redskins' fans say that it continues to be the WORST loss in the history of the franchise.


Let's set the scene for this game. Both the Cowboys and Redskins are fighting for playoff spots at the time - with a win, the Redskins would clinch a berth in the playoffs.

Dallas' starting QB, Roger Staubach, gets hurt early on in the contest, leaving rookie Clint Longley to take over. Things are not looking good for the Cowboys.

Shortly after halftime, Washington takes a commanding 16-3 lead. With a rookie quarterback, nobody is expecting that the Cowboys will be able to mount anything close to a comeback. After all, they have done nothing all game - why should things change now?

Then, a miracle - the Cowboys score two third quarter TDs and now lead by a score of 17-16.

Euphoria for Cowboys' fans turns to dread, as Duane Thomas of the Redskins rushes in for a 19 yard score in the fourth quarter, putting the Redskins up by a score of 23-17.

There were just 35 seconds left in the game when Clint Longley - aka the "Mad Bomber" connected with Drew Pearson for a 50 yard touchdown. The Cowboys made the extra point and ended up winning the game, and keeping their playoff hopes alive.

The Redskins were left reeling, wondering exactly what had just happened.

This loss was so bad for Redskins' fans that many still talk about it to this day, despite the fact that it happened decades ago.

There have been some great Thanksgiving games since 1974, though none matched the drama and weight of the Cowboys/Redskins game from 1974.


Here are highlights from the game:

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