Today, millions of homes across the country will enjoy the all-American combination of food, family and football in celebration of Thanksgiving. However, the Browns and Turkey Day have never fit well historically. For obvious reasons, the Browns haven’t played on the holiday since 1989, when the Lions edged Cleveland 13-10, a game in which Barry Sanders broke 1,000 yards rushing on the season. That season, the Browns eventually won the division title and made the AFC Championship, losing to John Elway and the Broncos for the third time in four years. The only other appearances included a 31-14 loss in 1982 and 26-14 loss in 1966, both to the Cowboys.
But, we’re not here to dwell on the past. The real question is: when will Cleveland fans be able to ignore their fighting families in order to watch Browns football on Thanksgiving? After all, they now have a franchise quarterback, a tandem of wide receivers and running backs and wide receivers ripe for television viewing – some semblance of a winning identity.
For this to happen, it would likely require the AFC North to play the entire NFC North or NFC East during the season, divisions in which the Cowboys and Lions reside. Looking at NFL.com’s own schedule archives, the last time Dallas and Cleveland met was 2016, the first year of the infamous “Hue Jackson Era.” This sets up perfectly for the Browns to play at Jerry’s World, Thanksgiving Day of 2020. If things progress as we all hope, both teams will be fighting for division leads and playoff berths late in the season. To be fair, the league could plug Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, or another contending team into that match up. But the Browns possess a charisma with big spirits like Odell Beckham Jr, Baker Mayfield, and Jarvis Landry that’s television gold. Add in the endless drama of this current season, not to mention a massive Cleveland market that would tune in to watch the 4:25 Thanksgiving game and the chances of a Browns-Cowboys dinner time game look promising.
Nonetheless, have a Happy Thanksgiving Browns fans. Enjoy your families, and prepare to watch some exciting football this weekend!