Cowboys' Thanksgiving blowout drew 3rd-largest TV audience in NFL regular-season history

Dallas Cowboys haters can deny it all they want, but the Cowboys have the largest fanbase in the NFL.

Who else would be tuning in to watch the Cowboys blast the Washington Commanders on Thanksgiving. Despite the result of that game rarely being in doubt and turning into a 45-10 laugher in the fourth quarter, it drew the third-largest television audience in NFL regular-season history, according to CBS.

In total, 41.438 million people tuned into a game that was decided by five touchdowns. That's the power of the Cowboys, with more than a little help from a captive Thanksgiving audience and perhaps Dolly Parton's halftime show as well.

For a long time, the record for a regular-season game was 41.474 million viewers for 49ers-Giants in 1990, according to Pro Football Talk. That was eclipsed last season by a game that drew 42 million viewers.

Yep, that was the Cowboys, too. Their Thanksgiving game last season against the New York Giants broke the viewership record for a regular-season game.

A near-record number of viewers tuned in to watch CeeDee Lamb (88), Tony Pollard and the Cowboys blow out the Commanders on Thanksgiving. (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

There's a reason networks keep grabbing Cowboys games for their prime-time slots. And why those games almost never get flexed out no matter the quality of the matchup. Commanders-Cowboys was supposed to be a blowout, it was an even bigger blowout than expected, and more than 41 million people tuned in.

Whether people are tuning in because they love the Cowboys or because they want to see them lose, it usually ends up with a massive audience.