For the first time in over a decade, Tony Romo will not be the starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day.
Okay, well, that’s not totally true as Romo did miss the game in 2010 due to a broken collarbone, and the immortal Jon Kitna started in his place. Still, if he was healthy, Tony would have started. This is the first time since 2005 that he is not the guy on Thanksgiving, which seems like a pretty big deal.
As well all know, rookie Dak Prescott will be starting in his place, trying stake his claim as the rookie of the year while winning the team’s 10th straight game in his holiday debut. Dak has some big shoes to fill, however, if he wants to match his current backup’s Thanksgiving debut.
Almost 10 years ago to the exact day (it was really 11/23 not the 24th) Tony Romo shredded the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, throwing for a franchise record 5 touchdowns and 306 yards on 22/29 passing en route to a dominant 38-10 win. Romo finished the game with a near perfect passer rating, 148.9, and the Cowboys improved to a 7-4 record.
Ironically, Romo was not supposed to be the starter for this game when training camp opened, the same way Dak was not supposed to be the starter this year. Stuff happens. Now, we hope that Dak can put on a show the way that Tony did, because we all know that the kid has it in him.
For those of you who feel nostalgic, like me, when watching Tony stand on the sidelines or even when thinking back to when he was the young quarterback filling in for the old veteran, I urge you to watch this video.
This nostalgia got me thinking about other classic Thanksgiving day games, specifically ones against this Thursday’s opponent, the Washington Redskins.
The first place my mind went was back to 2002, when the Cowboys got their last glimpse of a great Emmitt Smith. Smith, playing with some extra motivation against Washington coach Steve Spurrier, rushed for 144 yards, the most he had in a single game since the 1990’s.
The most memorable highlight of the game came from safety Roy Williams, however, who returned an interception for a touchdown to cut Washington’s lead to 3 points.
The Cowboys defense held Washington scoreless the rest of the way, and the offense rode Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith to victory.
Of course, this week’s game with Washington has some added importance. Despite being 9-1, the Cowboys are still very much in jeopardy of not winning the NFC East. At 6-3-1 Washington is making a push, and the New York Giants still sit just two games behind. The Cowboys need to win this game, and put Washington’s division hopes to bed once and for all.
Hopefully, they can make some more Thanksgiving memories, and leave us all with a happy feeling to celebrate the holiday with.