Thanksgiving always comes early for NFL reporter Ed Werder.
Now in his 18th year with ESPN, the company’s Dallas-based NFL Insider – who previously worked for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (1989) and Dallas Morning News (1992-96) – estimates that he has covered 22 Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day games through the years.
With yet another holiday assignment this week, covering the Panthers-Cowboys game on Thursday, Werder speaks with Front Row about his Thanksgiving tradition and what he is particularly thankful for this year.
How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?
We used to have it at a traditional dinner time on Thanksgiving. And, for a while we moved it to lunch. Then, the schedule became such with pregame live shots that the whole day had to be devoted to work. We’ve now moved it to Tuesday. So, we have Thanksgiving 48 hours before everyone else. We have our kids, and this one will be the first with our grandson, baby Henry. They all come over. My wife, Jill, cooks. She does a magnificent job and the kids still look forward to it all year long.
What’s your favorite dish?
I love the turkey but the chocolate pies are tough to beat. Jill makes some pies and other dishes – stuffing, mashed potatoes, salad, etc. – and we actually get creamed corn from a local restaurant named Babe’s. It’s that good! Jill cooks for like a week and we eat it in 20 minutes.
Do the Cowboys do a special Thanksgiving meal for media covering the game?
You have been very open about your daughter, Christie, and son-in-law, Trey – how both have battled very serious illnesses. What thoughts do you have about them this Thanksgiving and about the outpouring of support you have received from others?
That’s a natural day when you’d be thankful for all the support and articulate that at the table, definitely. We’re thankful that Trey has made it to another Thanksgiving. And hope we can do it again next year and for many years following that. We’ll definitely express our gratitude at the table with that being the No. 1 thing.