Inside one unique Philadelphia Eagles Thanksgiving Day history

Mark Sanchez, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Mark Sanchez, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Eagles
Buddy Ryan, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /

November 23rd, 1989: Philadelphia Eagles 27 Dallas Cowboys 0

We told you we’d get here. Depending on who you ask, this is either one of the most famous games in Eagles history or infamous.

Eagles head coach Buddy Ryan and his legendary defense faced off against the hated Dallas Cowboys who were essentially tanking the season. First-year Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson would accuse Ryan of placing bounties on the heads of quarterback Troy Aikman and kicker Luis Zendejas. Zendejas had been the kicker for the Eagles the previous year, and the accusations held some merit in the eyes of many when Eagles linebacker Jessie Small laid him out during a kickoff, causing him to leave the game. The Eagles were all over Aikman too, with the rookie, but future Hall of Famer, throwing for only 54 yards on seven competitions and 21 attempts, along with three interceptions.

Two weeks later, the Cowboys came to Veteran Stadium, and the Eagles fans proceeded to pelt Johnson and the Cowboys with snowballs, in once again either famous or infamous moment. One historical anecdote that gets lost in the Bounty Bowl is that Reggie White was the initial recipient of John Madden’s yearly Turkey Leg Award. The Eagles wouldn’t play on Thanksgiving for another 19 years.