Cowboys to Host Raiders in 2021 Thanksgiving Game: Report


Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys.

Slowly but surely, the Dallas Cowboys‘ 2021 schedule is leaking out en masse.

After it was revealed that Dallas will face the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the season opener, Bleacher Report’s Master Tes reported the Cowboys will host the Las Vegas Raiders on Nov. 25 in their annual Thanksgiving game.

Tes also reported that Dallas will meet the Saints in New Orleans the following week — a Thursday Night Football showdown.

The entirety of the Cowboys’ 2021 docket, including preseason matchups, is to be officially unveiled Thursday evening.

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Because the Cowboys and Raiders are located in opposing conferences, the clubs meet just once every four years. Incidentally, the all-time series record is tied 6-6. The last matchup occurred in December 2017, when Dallas eked out a 20-17 victory. They have won three straight, in fact, dating back to 2009.

This will represent the third-ever Thanksgiving tilt between the sides. The Cowboys vanquished then-Oakland in that aforementioned 2009 contest and again in 2013, by a score of 31-24.

This year’s installment features something of a revenge narrative as former Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli is now the Raiders’ defensive line coach under mercurial head man Jon Gruden. The latter’s staff also sports ex-Dallas assistant head coach/special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia, who holds the same titles in Vegas.

Roster-wise, the Raiders in 2020 fielded two former Cowboys players, safety Jeff Heath and defensive lineman Maliek Collins, both of whom are no longer with the organization. Collins joined the Houston Texans in free agency while Heath was recently released and has yet to find a new NFL home. (The Cowboys reportedly are not interested in a second stint “at this time.”)

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Woods Bolts to Colts

Speaking of AFC foes, the Indianapolis Colts on Tuesday signed former Cowboys defensive tackle Antwaun Woods. Woods becomes new teammates with ex-Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz and reunites with former Dallas linebackers coach Matt Eberflus, now the Colts’ defensive boss.

Woods was released by the Cowboys on May 5, less than two months after signing his one-year, $2.133 million restricted free-agent tender. He was among six players chopped by the club as it pared down its 90-man offseason roster.

Woods, 28, started 10 games and made 23 tackles for the Cowboys in 2020, receiving an uptick in snaps following the midseason release of defensive lineman Dontari Poe.

Prepping for his departure, the Cowboys brought aboard two defensive linemen in free agency (Carlos Watkins, Brent Urban) and imported three others via the 2021 NFL Draft (third-rounders Osa Odighizuwa and Chauncey Golston, and sixth-rounder Quinton Bohanna).

This, to pair with 2019 second-round choice Trysten Hill and 2020 third-round selection Neville Gallimore. Both players are expected to be foundational pieces under new DC Dan Quinn, who’s abandoning the 3-4 scheme imposed by predecessor Mike Nolan.

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL