The Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins play each other twice a year. They’re familiar NFC East foes that have squared off 113 times in history, combining to make up one of the league’s best rivalries.
And when they meet on Thanksgiving Day, there will be plenty on the line. The Cowboys, coming in at 9-1, have their eyes set on a first-round bye in the playoffs. The Redskins, on the other hand, are looking to gain some ground on the best team in football, trailing them by three games in the win column.
However, when the two take the field, there will be an added element of familiarity. Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli is actually related to a coach on the Redskins side: Joe Barry, Washington’s defensive coordinator.
Marinelli is Barry’s father-in-law, making this game even more meaningful than it already is.
While there’s obviously a rivalry element to their relationship, one that probably carries bragging rights, they still talk regularly. After all, being family (albeit not by blood) makes it hard not to speak to each other. However, they’ll probably leave the talking to after the game is over. Before one of last year’s games between the Cowboys and Redskins, the two agreed not to talk until after the final whistle.
“It’s all elevator music at the end of the day, so I prefer not to say anything,” Marinelli said at the time.Both will be doing their best to net their team a win on Thursday, but they’ll do so with great respect for each other.
“He’s one of those guys that impacts every single person that he’s around,” Barry said in 2015. “I don’t know if there was ever a day when I didn’t get something from him. As a young coach, I think that was huge, because you wake up every day and you’re excited to go to work, because you know you’re going to get better. You’re going to get a little tidbit. And that’s what Rod is. Special man, special coach.”