Thanksgiving Means Turkey & Texas Football
Oakland Raiders at Dallas Cowboys (3:30 pm CST on CBS 11)
The Cowboys will be sporting a new look tomorrow afternoon when they take the field at AT&T Stadium to face the Oakland Raiders – blue throwback jerseys with their regular silver helmets. No, not a fashion statement, a safety precaution. The NFL has mandated that all players wear the same helmets throughout the entire season. Decals can be changed out, but not the helmets, so no throwback lids to match the jerseys.
“I think everything is about putting player safety first and foremost,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said Tuesday. “I don’t know that it’s a given by moving from one helmet to another that it’s an issue but we haven’t proven that it’s not either. So any time we’re always going to err on the side of safety, so it’s going to give us a new look this year, but sometimes there’s nothing wrong with that either.”
While the Cowboys (6-5, 4-0) are at the moment in control of the NFC East and shooting for their first division title since 2002, the Raiders (4-7, 1-2) are clinging to quickly fading AFC wild-card hopes. They must rebound quickly and get past Sunday’s last minute loss to Tennessee if they want to remain in the hunt for an AFC spot come playoff time. On the other hand the Cowboys are riding the momentum of their big win in the Meadowlands against the Giants on Sunday. It’s always tougher on the team traveling during the shortened Thanksgiving week, so look for the Cowboys to take advantage of the situation. The Cowboys and the Raiders played Thanksgiving Day 2009 in a game in which the Cowboys won 24-7, covering a 13.5 point spread. The Cowboys are favored in tomorrow’s game by 9.5. The Reverse Barometer call – Cowboys 27, Raiders 21.
The Cowboys on Thanksgiving
The concept of playing football on Thanksgiving Day dates back to 1876 shortly after the game was invented. The Cowboys adopted the practice of hosting Thanksgiving games in 1966, six years after being founded. Their all-time record on Thanksgiving is 28-16-1.
Texas Tech at Texas
While the champions of the Big 12 probably won’t be playing in this one nor have an effect on the race, there is still much to be gained by a win in this game. Texas will be playing at home on Thanksgiving for the second consecutive year since the series with Texas A&M ceased, having played TCU last year (a 20-13 Horned Frogs win).
Texas has lost just one Big 12 game this season, but it was a big one to the current leader in the conference – Oklahoma State. The Horns must win to keep pace with OSU and maintain their outside shot at winning the Big 12. Texas has won seven-straight over Texas Tech in Austin.
Tech’s offense might give Texas fits. The Red Raiders average over 400 yards per game in passing. OSU showed Tech a blueprint on how to attack the Horns, and Kliff Kingsbury was taking notes.
Texas Tech has lost four in a row after beginning the season with seven-straight wins. Look for Texas to run the ball and control the clock, hopeful to result in long scoring drives. If the Horns can keep Tech off the field and limit their offensive series, they have a good chance of winning the game.
Tech’s plan will be to try and make Case McCoy beat them, daring Texas to throw the ball. Other than Mike Davis, Tech is not afraid of the Texas receivers, so look for eight and nine men in the box early in the game to make Texas throw the ball.
The game will be televised on Fox Sports 1, beginning at 6:30 pm CST. The Reverse Barometer call – Texas 27, Texas Tech 19.