The 2014 schedule taps the Cowboys and the Bears to play on consecutive Thursdays, against other foes on Thanksgiving and each other seven days later.
As it turns out, it’s not unprecedented.
In 2007, the Packers and Cowboys got together in Dallas on a Thursday night, seven days after the Packers played in Detroit and the Cowboys hosted the Jets on Thanksgiving.
The Cowboys won the battle of 10-1 teams, which created a ton of interest in the then-two-year-old NFL Network Thursday night package but also resulted in criticism of the relegation of a great game to cable TV.
It’s likely the Packers-Cowboys game has become largely forgotten because of another NFL Network game from later in the year that was sufficiently significant to prompt the league to simulcast it on NBC and CBS.
On the final weekend of the regular season, the Patriots faced the Giants for a game that had zero playoff ramifications but extreme historical implications. The undefeated Patriots edged the Giants, 38-35, becoming the first team in league history to complete the regular season with a 16-0 record.
For the Giants, the shot of confidence that came from giving the Patriots all they could handle helped fuel a postseason run that included wins at Dallas, at Green Bay, and in the Super Bowl over the Patriots, stopping them from a 19-0 finish to the season.