The 2010 season isn’t the first time that the Cowboys have faced the Lions on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. In 2005, the Cowboys and Lions faced off at Texas Stadium where the 4-5 Lions were trying to get to .500.
Dallas had struggled early and stood at 4-3 after a frustrating loss at Seattle. Dallas returned home and beat Arizona before a week 9 bye. In week 10, the Cowboys had to travel to Philadelphia to face the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Dallas pulled off an improbable 21-20 win thanks to a 46-yard interception return for a touchdown by safety Roy Williams.
The Lions had young talent in its skill positions, including quarterback Joey Harrington; receivers Roy Williams, Charles Rogers, and Mike Williams; and running back Kevin Jones. Dallas had some older talent in the form of quarterback Drew Bledsoe and receivers Keyshawn Johnson and Terry Glenn. The Cowboys moved the ball much more effectively on the ground, though, with Julius Jones and Marion Barber combining for 145 rushing yards. Barber also added two touchdowns. The Lions didn’t help their cause by committing 17 penalties for 129 yards.
The loss for Detroit began a five-game slide. The Lions only managed to win one more game that season and finished at 5-11. Detroit fired coach Steve Mariucci after a loss to the Falcons four days later and replaced him with Dick Jauron.
As for Dallas, the Cowboys weren’t able to take advantage of the momentum from the three-game winning streak. Dallas lost to Denver on Thanksgiving Day and finished the season at 9-7. The Cowboys missed the playoffs for the second straight season.
Here’s a video showing the highlights from the 2005 season.