Thanksgiving football schedule 2012: Washington duels with Dallas

Patrick Smith

The Redskins and Cowboys meet to renew one of football's best rivalries.

On Thanksgiving Day, the NFL has cooked up a tasty tripleheader that begins at 12:30 p.m. ET and ends sometime around midnight without much of a break in between.

The middle game is the one of biggest interest here, with the Washington Redskins on the road against their archrival, the Dallas Cowboys.

Washington is 4-6 and still alive for a playoff spot, but it must find a way to defeat Tony Romo and co. Robert Griffin III is coming off his finest professional performance, completing 14 of 15 passes in a win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Dallas is a tough team to figure out. The Cowboys barely beat the Cleveland Browns at home last week and now try to close to within a half-game of the New York Giants in the NFC East.

The other games include a matinee squaring off the Houston Texans at the Detroit Lions. Houston enters the contest 9-1 and certainly looking like the team to beat in the AFC.

What about the Lions? Well, they've struggled to a 4-6 start and need this win just to stay in the playoff picture. Detroit was picked by many to make a leap this season, but the Lions now find themselves dangerously close to being an afterthought.

At night, the New York Jets are playing the role of host to the New England Patriots.

Tom Brady will try to extend his team's lead in the AFC East with another victory. However, the Jets think they're still in the race at 4-6. New York will take its second crack of the season at New England, after narrowly losing a few weeks ago to the Patriots up in Foxborough.

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