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YouTube Releases 1998 Thanksgiving Game in Green's Honor

The NFL on Friday released the first of three Vikings classics that were selected to be posted in their entirety on YouTube.

In honor of the passing of former Minnesota Head Coach Dennis Green, the NFL unveiled 1998 Thanksgiving showdown in Dallas in which the Vikings defeated the Cowboys 46-36.

Rookie Randy Moss turned in three 50-plus-yard touchdown catches. The first was on a 51-yard heave from Randall Cunningham.

The second and third touchdown catches were each 56 yarders and accompanied a 54-yard touchdown catch-and-run after Cris Carter defeated double coverage and a 50-yard rushing touchdown by running back Leroy Hoard.

The game aired on FOX with John Madden and Pat Summerall on the call.

The broadcasting tandem lamented the fact that Cowboys future Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders was out because of an injury.

They weren't the only ones to do so.

Current Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer was Cowboys defensive backs coach.

"Well it was Thanksgiving, so it ruined my thanksgiving," Zimmer recalled Friday when asked about the game while sharing his respects for Green.

The wrong kind of highlights still replay in Zimmer's mind: with visuals of Moss streaking by defenders and Carter splitting them still fresh.

"There weren't a lot of good things that day," Zimmer said.

One bright spot for Dallas was Emmitt Smith passing Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown (12,312 rushing yards) for fifth all-time en route to his NFL record of 18,355 yards. Smith had three of his 175 career total touchdowns on the day, but was limited to 44 yards rushing.

Zimmer said he had a high level of respect for Green and appreciates their co-membership in the nine-man club of Vikings head coaches.

"His teams were always tremendously prepared, and they had fun, too, when they played," Zimmer said. "They were that type of team. They were tremendously prepared. He was an outstanding coach, a great person, and we'll all miss him."

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