Eagles proposed change to Detroit-Dallas Thanksgiving tradition

Getty Images

For decades, Detroit and Dallas have hosted Thanksgiving games each year. The Eagles attempted to change that, but they later withdrew their proposal.

The league confirmed today that the Eagles submitted a proposal for a change in the league resolutions that would have seen the Lions and Cowboys continue to play on Thanksgiving each year, but to play on the road every other year.

The text of the Eagles’ proposal read, “to continue the annual tradition of having Dallas and Detroit play on Thanksgiving, provided that one of those clubs host a home game with the other club playing away, and alternating home and away games each subsequent season.”

It’s easy to see why the Eagles would think it gives the Lions and Cowboys an advantage to host on Thanksgiving each year, and that other teams should get into the rotation more often. But they withdrew the proposal, presumably because they knew it wasn’t going to pass. There’s been talk for years of changing the Thanksgiving schedule, but the Lions and Cowboys have always successfully held on, and they will again this year.

100 responses to “Eagles proposed change to Detroit-Dallas Thanksgiving tradition

  1. Sorry, you’ll never be as popular as the Cowboys. And you won’t have five Lombardi’s in the lifetime of anyone reading this.

  2. it should rotate more often…. they had/have a valid point. I can ALMOST understand Dallas playing every turkey day… but it need not be at home annually…..Detroit…well…. we ALL know we could live without them embarrassing themselves annually on National TV.

  3. I disagree with the owner of my Birds.
    What advantage?
    These are two of the most unsuccessful franchises in the last quarter century.
    Go Birds

  4. At first noone wanted it now everyone does. Dallas and Detroit should to continue to reap the benefits (if any) because they took the risk.

  5. 1977 was the last time Dallas didn’t play on Thanksgiving. The St. Louis Cardinals hosted the late game that year, and got steamrolled by Miami 55-14. Not sure why Dallas didn’t play on Thanksgiving that year, but they have been skipped for the turkey day game before.

  6. Maybe just have the Lions play the Cowboys every year and they can rotate home field, then have other better teams play actual competitive games.

  7. one lol The eagles need to go sit down at the bottom where they belong and have been for over 50 years.enjoy your superbowl losers. Its the only one you will have for another 50 years.

  8. Keep it! It’s a tradition. It was a way many of us saw Barry Sanders and then Calvin Johnson. These two teams also volunteered to play on Thanksgiving before anyone knew how big the tradition would become.

  9. One thing I’m really glad the league did was eliminate forcing an AFC team in one of those games for CBS. They went ahead the last few years and had two NFC games in each of those to have competitive matchups. If you have a new england or pittsburgh or KC that happens to be on the schedule great but in the old days they would sometimes have to “force” a weak AFC team that year onto the thanksgiving schedule.(for example dallas has home games vs AFC teams Buffalo and Miami- at least detroit has KC and the LA Chargers which could be viable turkey day games- some years there were no good options).

  10. Nothing really wrong with a tradition that doesn’t bother anybody, adding the late game has been cool for fanbases to get in on it. No reason to change it.

  11. Yes! I get so sick of watching Dallas. I live in KC and we might not get them one week a year, two games tops. We miss a lot of good games being stuck with Dallas all the time so it would be nice to not see them Thanksgiving.

  12. Michael E says:
    March 21, 2019 at 7:00 pm
    Sorry, you’ll never be as popular as the Cowboys. And you won’t have five Lombardi’s in the lifetime of anyone reading this
    —-

    Being popular doesn’t make you good. Case in point; the Dallas cowboys. Haven’t got past the 2nd round of the playoffs in a quarter century, but hey, they sure do have a lot of fans lol.

  13. The bigger issue is the scheduling nightmare all of the Thursday games create. The Cowboys almost always get two Thursday games each year (Thanksgiving and the week after) because they are a ratings draw.

    Even as a fan of the team…it seems like an advantage to know when your Thursday games are each year and be able to prepare with a full week for the second game.

  14. Just to make it fair to Dallas and to Detroit, if they host the Thanksgiving game, they should be required to play that Monday Night away from home so they have a taste of what happens to teams traveling to their respective snake pits.

  15. Years ago, the Lions and Cowboys played on Thanksgiving when no other teams wanted to do so.
    They deserve to keep the Thanskgiving day games.

  16. I’d love to see a change.

    I am sick to death of being forced to watch a usually TERRIBLE lions team every holiday. Boot them.

    I like rooting against Dallas, so I’m not quite as sick of them every year. But feel free to give them the heave ho also.

  17. Michael E says:

    Sorry, you’ll never be as popular as the Cowboys. And you won’t have five Lombardi’s in the lifetime of anyone reading this.
    ______________

    Cowboys won 2 of those Lombardi’s prior to the lifetime of most people reading this. What’s your point. And if winning Lombardi’s is the standard to play on Thanksgiving, then the Patriots and Steelers ought to be hosting those games…

  18. How about they play each other get the crud out of the way put real game on for dinner

  19. Keep the Thanksgiving games like they are, but do away with the other Thursday games during the season. Most of the time the matchups are bad and the home team wins a lopsided game.

  20. Its hard to the Eagles to accept that the cowboys…also known as America’s Team….is the most popular NFL team and quite frankly the most popular professional sports team in America. Thanksgiving
    is a grand American holiday. So the majority of the country wants to see the America’s team play
    on America’s greatest Holiday. Case Closed!

  21. jerryjonesbankroll says:
    March 21, 2019 at 7:33 pm
    Everyone wants to watch America’s team
    ——–
    The Patriots rarely play on Thanksgiving…

  22. I would imagine this whole thing got started because nobody wanted to be away from their families on Thanksgiving, but someone had to do it, so the Lions and Cowboys offered to take one for the team. Hence, the Lions and Cowboys got home field. Nobody was envious of them. It wasn’t seen as an advantage, but rather a disadvantage.

  23. It’s a joke that the Cowboys and Lions get to host the Thanksgiving games every year. It’s an unfair advantage for them and it’s wrong. Those games should be rotated around the league so everyone gets to host them.
    It’s another in the long line of stupid things the NFL does.

  24. GAME 1. Kansas City at New England
    GAME 2. L.A. at New Orleans
    GAME 3. The annual Jacksonville at Tennessee game. Cause we need to wind down from the first two.

  25. As a Lions fan, I’m biased on the subject. But here’s a few observations: 1) In Detroit, Thanksgiving has been our Super Bowl (win or lose) for decades. We’ve been that bad. Have mercy on us. 2) Thanksgiving games wouldn’t exist were it not for Detroit starting the tradition long before the Super Bowl era. One could argue it should change due to that, but changing it would also be like stripping Lambeau and Green Bay families of their rich historical contribution to the NFL. The Lions franchise has been around since the 1920s. 3) If it were to change, I’d be in favor of historical cities as hosts only (75 years or older).

  26. Ha Ha the ‘boyz have _never_ beaten the Birds on turkey day,period!
    It’s not about being on t.v. it’s about having those two having to travel for the game like everyone else.
    That other comment of having both of them scheduled to play away the following mon. night was great

  27. Shouldn’t have pulled it. Every other team has to face going on the road on a short week for a Thursday game. Not Dallas. I think Detroit has sometimes played a 2nd Thursday game early in the season when they go on the road. The Cowboys at least for the past few years have also played on Thursday a week from Thanksgiving. It might be away but it’s with a full week’s rest. It’s an unfair competitive advantage that the league should get rid of.

  28. I can understand the logic why Eagles would think of it. Home team has a big advantage for Thursday games. Also, last year the Cowboys had another home Thursday night game against the Saints right after the Thanksgiving game. It was not a big deal because the Saints had played on Thanksgiving. I guess the NFL should make sure that the Cowboys don’t get another Thursday night game other than the Thanksgiving game.

  29. It’s simple as this. If you don’t like it don’t watch it. It’s not changing. Spend time with your family. Dallas is not the most valuable team in the world and the most watched team for nothing. If you don’t like it to bad.

  30. I like all the people who are FORCED to watch football on Thanksgiving.

    If you don’t watch the Cowboys or Detroit on Sunday, why do you have to watch them on Thanksgiving? Are you forced to watch the other Thursday night games?

  31. I like the idea of Lions vs Cowboys and two other teams. It is getting more difficult to sit through 7 hours of them playing individually. Let others share in the tradition, that would be more in line with the spirit of the NFL. Lions vs ? Then the Cowboys vs? is boring, not tradition! Those are consistently two of the most un exciting teams to watch and have been for atleast the last 15 years. That traditions dated back to the 1970s and 1980s. Yawnnnnnn!

  32. It should stay the way it is. It’s tradition. They have changed too much already. I personally love knowing the cowboys and lions are at home playing on Thanksgiving. If anything they should remove the third game.

  33. For a sport so rooted in tradition (and proudly celebrating 100 years this year), why mess with one of its greatest traditions?
    Lions and Cowboys on Thanksgiving (at HOME) has been a staple for as long as I’ve been alive.

    Leave it alone.

  34. Leave it the way it is……Between these two teams and the turkey….it’s very easy to fall asleep on Thanksgiving

  35. If they switch, the new teams and fans will moan about having to play a Thursday game. Leave it the way it is; the games mean much more to the Cowboys, the Lions, and their fans than it will ever means to yours. #OnePride

  36. Even Cowboys preseason games are the highest watched broadcasts. They could go 0-16 and they would be more entertaining to watch than the Eagles.

    Besides, your best player left. Nobody wants to watch Wentz holding a clipboard on the sidelines. Get lost Lurie.

  37. The Eagles had a chance to start the tradition and didn’t do it. Detroit and Dallas get Thanksgiving.

  38. I’m sick of watching crappy Detroit and Dallas every year. I’ve got to where I don’t watch it at all. Put different teams every year.

  39. For the casual football fan that watches the Superbowl, I think they should change it up.1)
    The NFC and AFC champs should play at home in the early or late game vs the team they played in the conference game. If they do not play that team the the divisional round. If they do not play that team then the wildcard round if they played one. If that does not work the # 2 team in their division. If they were the # 2 team then the # 1 team. One team from the NFC and one from the AFC play the middle game. Keep track of all 6 teams that played and put them “DONE CATAEGORY” The next year those six team cannot play in the middle game. Add the 2-6 new teams next year into the “DONE CATEGORY”. Keep it up until all 32 have played on Thanksgiving Day and then start the rotation again.

    Also increasing teams roster to 70 and changing the season to 2 preseason games 16 regular season games (8 home 8 away) 1 regular season neutral out of country Total 16 games all 32 teams (cause the NFL keeps pushing it I hate it.) 2 Bye weeks. One after the teams Thursday game and one after the teams out of country game.

  40. Cowboys fans are confused on history: 1. The Eagles have never lost to the Cowboys on Thanksgiving day. 2. The Eagles didn’t propose ending the Lions and Cowboys playing on Thanksgiving. Just alternating home and away games. 3. For all the alleged “sacrifice” the Lions and Cowboys allegedly made, they always had opponents travelling to their home stadiums on Thanksgiving which is a much bigger sacrifice!

  41. How is it easy to think that the schedule gives the Lions/Cowboys an advantage? They have to play a Thursday afternoon game following a Sunday.

  42. I laugh at Cowboys and Lions fans defending the fact that by hosting the Thanksgiving games every year, their teams get an unfair advantage which no other teams get. They call it “tradition”. Since when does the NFL care about “tradition”?
    The fact is, it’s unfair to all the other teams in the league that they get to host those games every year.
    Here’s how I can prove how phony you Lions and Cowboys fans are being about this. I’m a Packers fan. I can only imagine what you’d be saying if the Packers were one of the teams which hosts that game every year. And you’d all be crying even more if the Patriots were hosting it every year.
    Here’s what the NFL should do to make it fair, if they won’t do the right thing by rotating the hosts of those games every year. Let the two Super Bowl teams host those games every year. That would be fair because they at least earned the right to have an unfair advantage by hosting it.
    Vince Lombardi’s best team was the 1962 Packers. They won every game they played that year (13 and 1 record and beat one of the greatest Giants teams ever 16 to 7 in the championship game). The only game they lost was on Thanksgiving against an excellent Lions team. Lombardi went to the Commissioner (Pete Rozelle) and told him he felt it was unfair that the Lions got to host that game every year and at a meeting later, other teams’ owners agreed with him. But Rozelle wouldn’t change it. So this is nothing new.
    The Cowboys and Lions get an unfair advantage by hosting those games every year and that’s wrong.

  43. uncletuna says:
    March 21, 2019 at 7:05 pm
    There’s no league bias…

    ————————————————-

    The league exists to make money, so of course there is a bias. You have to show the team that will garner the most ratings, period. And, like it or not, the Cowboys are the most watched team and it isn’t even close. I get why the Eagles want to jump in the rotation. Their fan base doesn’t have families and they need something to do. What an excellent one year dynasty you had over there.

  44. bird2urmother says:
    March 21, 2019 at 7:44 pm
    Michael E says:
    March 21, 2019 at 7:00 pm
    Sorry, you’ll never be as popular as the Cowboys. And you won’t have five Lombardi’s in the lifetime of anyone reading this
    —-

    Being popular doesn’t make you good. Case in point; the Dallas cowboys. Haven’t got past the 2nd round of the playoffs in a quarter century, but hey, they sure do have a lot of fans lol.
    ===================================================

    being popular means high television ratings, and the NFL is a business.

  45. wizardsixthclass says:

    March 22, 2019 at 4:33 am

    How is it easy to think that the schedule gives the Lions/Cowboys an advantage? They have to play a Thursday afternoon game following a Sunday

    The teams they play are also playing on Thursday following Sunday. But the following week they get a 3 day advantage on the next opponent.

  46. My Packers normally play at Detroit every other year so I’ve never had a problem with it… Who chose Dallas and Detroit anyway? Or did it just happen organically?

  47. It’s not surprising that the Philadelphia Eagles do not appreciate traditions. A team that has been in existence since 1933 and has watched its other division members rack up multiple Super Bowl wins in the 1970s, 80s, 90s and 2000’s while they played in 3 and have won only one.
    They had to change their uniform color scheme and use a darker green and add black to try to look more intimidating, funny how Reggie White, Clyde Simmons, etc. did not need to “look” tough or intimidating in kelly green, they just went out and beat the other team into the ground.
    This is a team with a statue of a conversation between the head coach they did not want (suggesting on WIP that Andy Reid did “this” to them) and the back-up QB they have hated and now love about a trick play during the only Super Bowl they ever won. A statue of Tom Landry, an actual person, not a character from boxing movies, stands outside of the Cowboys’ current stadium and was outside of Texas Stadium.
    There is no tradition in a city with a rich history, just whining about fairness while accurately pointing out that the Cowboys have not won a Super Bowl in well over 20 years, which is fair criticism. However, this is the same fanbase that cried about having to face the Cowboys after the Cowboys had the break from their back-to-back Thanksgiving and Thursday night game against the Saints, somehow forgetting that the Cowboys had to play the Eagles last season after the Eagles bye from their game in London and the Eagles still lost.
    If you do not like watching the Lions or Cowboys on Thanksgiving, then don’t watch them, it is that simple. The league is all about money and the Cowboys typically have some of the highest rated games, even when they are losing, The league threw everyone a bone when they added the third game, Detroit and Dallas volunteered to play on Thanksgiving when no one else wanted to, and lately it has not been an advantage for Dallas, not like it once was, that’s what coaching does for you when you have a good one.
    To Eagles fans, why not watch the Jaguars new QB beat Tom Brady and the Patriots in the Super Bowl on your platinum edition blu ray, enjoy the moment because getting to and winning a Super Bowl isn’t a given unless you’re the Patriots, which is a credit to their coach, QB, and owner.

  48. Dallas is the most watched team only because the NFL and the media have crammed them down our throats.

  49. The Eagles don’t want to jump into the rotation. The proposal stated that Dallas and Detroit should continue playing every Thanksgiving. Just that they should rotate between being home & away. It’s reasonable. Thursday games provide a disadvantage to teams as far as rest/preparation and even more of a disadvantage to visiting teams. The fact that the games are automatically home games for Dallas & Detroit does provide a competitive advantage.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________

    The league exists to make money, so of course there is a bias. You have to show the team that will garner the most ratings, period. And, like it or not, the Cowboys are the most watched team and it isn’t even close. I get why the Eagles want to jump in the rotation. Their fan base doesn’t have families and they need something to do. What an excellent one year dynasty you had over there.

  50. It’s amazing how many people on this board don’t understand what the Eagles were proposing. No one is saying these two teams shouldn’t play on Thanksgiving. The issue is that these teams have a guaranteed HOME Thursday game every single year, while half the league has to play a road Thursday game every year. Playing a road Thursday game is a huge disadvantage.

  51. NFL players: We hate Thursday games, we need to get rid of them for the health of the players!

    Eagles: Lets complain about not playing on Thursday!

  52. Not at all what the proposal said.

    ________________________________________________________________________________

    NFL players: We hate Thursday games, we need to get rid of them for the health of the players!

    Eagles: Lets complain about not playing on Thursday!

  53. So maybe have a rotation where the teams that made it to the AFC and NFC Championship games play that day…
    Oh wait, never-mind, Dallas and Detroit would be at home…watching.

  54. If the statistics show that a home advantage on Thanksgiving or any other Thursday is more of an advantage than being at home on a Sunday is then of course the NFL should change their policy if they are interested in fairness.

    Just like the Super Bowl should not always be played indoors or in warm weather as that favors some teams over others as well.

    Fairness, however is not really the most important thing to the NFL. It is an entertainment business pretending to be a sport and thus money will trump fairness every time.

  55. let them keep it. i love having football on during thanksgiving but i hate having it be my team because i have more important stuff to do that watch tv

  56. Of course I don’t have a link, but my understanding is that when the NFL took the game away from the Cowboys in 1975 and 1977 (and gave it to the Cardinals), TV ratings were dismal and the NFL begged Dallas to take the game back.

    I further understand that Tex Schramm agreed to take the game back on the condition that the NFL never again take it away.

    By itself, this condition would not prohibit the Eagles’ proposal, but (if true) it would explain why games have been added, but the Cowboys have not ever again been removed as hosts. If anyone has a link to prove (or disprove) my recollection, I’d love to see it.

  57. The league exists to make money, so of course there is a bias. You have to show the team that will garner the most ratings, period. And, like it or not, the Cowboys are the most watched team and it isn’t even close. I get why the Eagles want to jump in the rotation. Their fan base doesn’t have families and they need something to do. What an excellent one year dynasty you had over there.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    (MeThinks thou must be living in the past….)
    The Cowboys are not the most watched team, being an Eagles fan, and as hard as it is to admit, there is another team watched WAY more than the Cowboys,(Maybe the 70’s, but not in the last 25 years)…
    Drumroll please ….(And I hate to break the news to you but…)

    The Patriots get an extra 50-100 million viewers nearly year because THEY play in the post season…
    Just sayin’
    (Never thought I’d say this, but Pleeeeease some/any Pats fan chime in and show this Price is Right the facts…..)

  58. Lest we forget: the original Thanksgiving Day game was Detroit- GB and the AFC then started one and somehow Dallas got involved. My suggestion: since Detroit was always involved and it was a rotating series, let Detroit keep it. If Dallas does need to be involved which I’m obviously against, make sure they have road games before and after.Otherwise rotate cities and teams.

  59. Still waiting for a NE fan to give us the Neilson ratings as to who is the most watched football team throughout the NFL season, Ne or Dallas?

  60. For those calling for the removal of these teams on Thanksgiving, here is some food for thought:
    In the last 6 years, The win-loss record for Dallas is .500 (3-3). For Detroit it is .667 (4-2). Of those, two were considered blowouts against Dallas and two were considered blowouts for Detroit which is hard to believe. Additionally, the 2012 Houston-Detroit match-up was extremely competitive going to OT.

    So, maybe it isn’t as horrible as everybody thinks it is. I get it, you don’t want to watch Detroit or Dallas, but the only other team prior to 2008 that really wanted to play on Thanksgiving was KC. If anything, maybe they should be the permanent AFC team to play on Thanksgiving (they hosted the first T-Day game for the AFC after they joined the NFL).

  61. uncletuna says:
    March 21, 2019 at 7:05 pm
    There’s no league bias…

    44 26 Rate This
    – – –

    I find it interesting that every post on this board that is in favor of the NFL changing the Thanksgiving schedule has been heavily “thumbs down”, yet the post acknowledging a bias exists has been heavily “thumbs up”.

    What I find interesting is that most readers agree there is a bias, but apparently, they don’t want to actually do something to eliminate this bias.

    I think it’s symbolic of how we (myself included) would rather point out or even complain about something, but we don’t want to actually take action to correct it.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!