“It’s extremely tough, especially when you’re on the road,” Redskins defensive tackle Barry Cofield said. “This is the second time I’ve done it. It was definitely tough the first time. I’ve been just trying to tell guys to take care of their body. Realistically, physically you’re not meant to do it. So it’s just got to be a mental thing. We’ve just got to think about everything that we’re playing for, try and build on the momentum of last week and I think mentally the professional, the personal accountability, all of those things that you have to rely on to get through this type of game will kick in.”
Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan won two Thanksgiving games in Dallas, in 2001 and 2005, while with the Denver Broncos. And Redskins players said they were savoring the chance to play on Thanksgiving.
“People will be sitting around, watching football, eating their Thanksgiving meal,” Fletcher said. “There’s only going to be one game on at that time. The country will get to see it. Family and friends will get to see it, the Cowboys and the Redskins. It’ll be a special game.”
The defense will be without safety Brandon Meriweather, who had an interception against the Eagles in his Redskins debut but suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee that ended his season after only one game. Wide receiver Pierre Garcon has said he expects to play even though the quick turnaround and the game being on artificial turf create demanding circumstances for his ailing right foot. He had three catches for only five yards Sunday after missing the previous four games.
But the Cowboys face their issues as well, particularly along an offensive line that has had to be patched together lately, and Shanahan called the demands roughly equal for both teams. The Redskins seem to know they are fortunate to be playing for something.
“I hope everybody enjoys this show because they get to sit on their couches and enjoy their food with their families, and we’ll be out there working,” Cofield said. “This is definitely special. It’s something you watch growing up, something that you envision doing in the back yard with your friends and you’re playing touch football. . . . You actually get to do it on the big stage. It’s a great opportunity.”
Redskins note: The team listed Fletcher as questionable for the Dallas game. Fletcher has played in 234 straight games but suffered a sprained left ankle during Sunday’s victory over the Eagles.
Fletcher did not practice Tuesday and said afterward he would receive treatment on his ankle through early Thursday before testing it during pregame warmups to determine whether he is able to play.
Fletcher’s streak is in jeopardy for the second time this season. He played at Pittsburgh last month after a week in which he missed two practices because of a hamstring injury and underwent testing by a neurologist due to issues with his balance.