Bills running back O.J. Simpson set the bar higher than any running back ever has on Thanksgiving back in 1976. Simpson gave the Lions' number one ranked defense nightmares, 273-yards worth. (a then single-game NFL record) The Lions were able to stop everyone else on Simpson's team, winning 27-14. (Photo/Getty Images)

Each year, Thanksgiving is a time families and friends get together over a great meal. But neck and neck with food on the priority list is good ‘ol fashioned football.

The NFL‘s Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions have been Turkey Day staples more than any other NFL franchise since the league began playing its games on the holiday back in 1920.  In 2006, the league added a third slate of games which gave other teams the opportunity to shine on a national stage.

Hall-of-Fame running back Barry Sanders was a Thanksgiving day legend. Sanders’ nimble feet and breakaway speed carried his Detroit Lions throughout his illustrious career. On Thanksgiving, non-Lions fans had almost a guaranteed chance to see why.

Sanders, along with fellow Hall-of-Fame running back O.J. Simpson, earn well-deserved spots on theGrio‘s slideshow of memorable Thanksgiving Day performances.

Other stars making the cut include Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, Giants punisher Lawrence Taylor and Vikings receiver Randy Moss.

Check out why in our slideshow above!

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