FRISCO, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys were back in The Star in Frisco on Monday as they quickly turn their attention to the Washington Commanders with their Thanksgiving matchup sitting just three days away.
With the short week, recovering both physically and mentally from Sunday's win in Carolina takes precedence while also preparing off the field for what the Commanders will bring to town. The Cowboys will not practice Monday before hitting the practice field Tuesday and a light walk-through on Wednesday.
"Definitely gotta be on your keys faster," second-year offensive lineman Tyler Smith said. "It's a short turnaround. Gotta take care of your body, first and foremost, and then just being ready. I got a little bit of experience from last year of how it goes. You definitely just have to take advantage of all of the reps you get, because it may not be as physical as a regular week would be."
The disadvantage that has existed in the past does not exist in 2023 as the Cowboys and Commanders will have the same amount of time to prepare for Thursday's clash.
"Everyone has to play on Thursday now, so it's not like we're at a disadvantage here," veteran offensive lineman Zack Martin said. "Everyone's gotta do it. Washington played yesterday just like us. It's one of those things that each year you know you'll have a Thursday night game. It's tough to recover for but it's an even playing field. Everybody's gotta do it."
Despite the quick turnaround, the expectation remains the same as it counts just like every other game on the schedule.
"I think this is my first time playing on Thanksgiving," veteran cornerback Stephon Gilmore said. "I've played on Thursday nights, so you get used to it. The thing is the recovery part within a week. It's still football, you just gotta go out and execute."
For the young players, the turnaround may be a little easier, but the method remains the same.
"Just get your body right and get your mind right," second-year cornerback DaRon Bland said. "Ain't too much to say."
The short week may create some problems that require diligence in physical recovery, but the opportunity to play on Thanksgiving each year still remains a big deal for the Cowboys as they look for their third consecutive win.
"I love playing on Thanksgiving," Martin said. "It's an excuse to have your family and friends down for the holidays. Each year, I usually have a big group in town and I'll have one this year. It's pretty special to go out there and work and then spend some time with family and friends."