The 2019 NFL schedule release is still a long ways away, but there is always at least one element that is fairly predictable: the Thanksgiving Day games. The Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys have hosted games on Thanksgiving for generations, and now it appears we know who they’re hosting this year.
According to Sports Business Daily via ProFootballTalk, two of the 2019 Thanksgiving Day matchups have been decided. The Detroit Lions will host their NFC North rivals the Chicago Bears, while the Dallas Cowboys will host the Miami Dolphins in an inter-conference matchup.
The Lions-Bears matchup would be a rematch of last year’s game, when the Bears won the game 23-17. Backup quarterback Chase Daniel went 27 of 37 for 230 yards and two touchdowns, while Bears defender Eddie Jackson’s 41-yard pick-six in the fourth quarter secured the win for the eventual NFC North champions.
The Cowboys would be playing the Dolphins for the first time since 2015, when they won 24-14 on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. The two sides last played each other on Thanksgiving in 2011, with the Cowboys winning that one 20-19 on a game-winning field goal by kicker Dan Bailey.
There’s a special historical significance to the Cowboys-Dolphins matchup on Thanksgiving as well. The two teams have faced each other six previous times, with the most famous matchup coming in 1993, when Cowboys defender Leon Lett famously botched an attempted missed field goal recovery.
The third Thanksgiving Day game has yet to be determined, but is very likely to be a divisional matchup. Six of the last seven night games have pitted divisional opponents against each other.
The full 2019 NFL schedule will likely be released in mid- to late-April, as it has for the better part of the last decade.