For the fifth time in franchise history the Dolphins are playing on Thanksgiving, but this assignment might be the toughest of all. The Dolphins face a Dallas team that has been one of the biggest surprises in the NFL this season, and they do so coming off a Sunday night game.

For the record, the Dolphins are 3-1 on Thanksgiving, with victories over Dallas in 1973 and 1993 and over St. Louis in 1977, as well as a forgettable 20-0 loss at Dallas in 1999.

This game is a reunion of sorts for a good chunk of the Dolphins coaching staff. Among the Dolphins coaches, Dave Wannstedt, Norv Turner, Jim Bates, Robert Ford and Tony Wise all are former Cowboys coaches.

But this game isn't about a homecoming, it's about the Dolphins trying to continue righting their ship.

What follows is a preview of the Dolphins-Cowboys matchup.

WHO: Miami Dolphins (7-4) vs. Dallas Cowboys (8-3)

WHEN: Sunday, 4:15 p.m. ET

WHERE: Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas

TV: CBS (Greg Gumbel, play-by-play; Phil Simms, analysis; Armen Keteyian, sidelines)

LINE: Cowboys by 3

NFL RANKINGS: Dolphins — 27th in the NFL in total offense, 16th in rushing offense, 29th in passing offense, 11th in total defense, 4th in rushing defense, 22nd in passing defense

Cowboys — 16th in the NFL in total offense, 12th in rushing offense, 15th in passing offense, 1st in total defense, 2nd in rushing defense, 1st in passing defense

COACHES: Dolphins, Dave Wannstedt (4th year with team); Cowboys, Bill Parcells (1st year with team)

SERIES RECORD: The Dolphins lead 6-4

LAST FIVE MEETINGS: 1999 (Thanksgiving) at Dallas, Cowboys 20, Dolphins 0; 1996 at Miami, Cowboys 29, Dolphins 10; 1993 (Thanksgiving) at Dallas, Dolphins 16, Cowboys 14; 1989 at Dallas, Dolphins 17, Cowboys 14; 1987 at Dallas, Dolphins 20, Cowboys 14.

INJURIES: Dolphins — WR Sam Simmons (ankle) and WR J.R. Tolver (knee) are out/IR; DT Larry Chester (quad), G Jamie Nails (ankle) and LB Zach Thomas (concussion) are questionable; QB Jay Fiedler (knee), G Todd Perry (elbow), DE Jason Taylor (knee), WR Derrius Thompson (oblique) and DT Jeff Zgonina (ribs) are probable.

Cowboys — T Kurt Vollers (back) is questionable.

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