For the fifth time ever the Miami Dolphins will play the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving, in what is expected to be a defining contest for both teams.
One of the the most memorable Thanksgiving matchups between the ‘Phins and Cowboys was on a snowy day in 1993.
Former Dallas DT Leon Lett infamously slipped on the ice while trying to recover a ball after his team blocked a field goal with just seconds remaining in the game.
Had Lett not touched the ball, Dallas would have regained possession and run out the clock.
But the Dolphins recovered the football and kicked the game-winning field goal on their second attempt defeating Dallas 16-14.
“I remember watching that game as a kid,” Dolphins receiver Davone Bess said while laughing.
“I’ll never forget that one.”
Bess was one of three receivers who caught touchdown passes in Miami’s win over Buffalo last Sunday.
Tight ends Anthony Fasano and the rookie Charles Clay also scored.
The offense and defense for Miami has made a huge turnaround defeating their last three opponents by a combined score of 86-20.
But from a defensive standpoint they may have some trouble stopping some of Dallas’ offensive playmakers.
In his last four games combined, Dallas running back DeMarco Murray rushed for 421 yards.
In two of those contests he put up more than 130 on the ground.
So while Miami’s defense has been able to contain the run during its three-game winning streak, Murray is a different beast who’ll be very problematic.
Seven-time pro bowler Jason Witten will also be a challenge for Miami’s defense to deal with.
Dolphins coach Tony Sparano who as an assistant in Dallas (2003-07) worked regularly with Witten, knows all too well what the 29-year-old can do.
“He’s just become an outstanding player,” Sparano said Tuesday.
“Jason has tremendous passion and a real curiosity for wanting the total package.” “If that means I got to pass block, I got to pass block. If that means that you need me to block the power play, I’m going to block the power play.”
Witten has caught 52 passes for 670 yards and five touchdowns this season, averaging 12.9 yards per catch.
A win for the Cowboys would put them alone atop of the NFC East pending what the Giants are able to do against New Orleans on Monday night.
The Dolphins are of course still playing for their pride after starting the season 0-7.
A win against Dallas (6-4) would be victory against a quality opponent and would open the dialogue that perhaps Miami could run the table from this point on.
The Cowboys play host to the Dolphins on Thursday at 4:15pm eastern.