As the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Commanders kicked off their Thanksgiving Day game at 4:30 p.m. ET, the electrifying moment arrived when the soulful notes of the national anthem, expertly delivered by jazz trumpeter Freddie Jones, resonated through the stadium.

A cherished tradition dating back to 2013, Jones, a staple at every Dallas home game, is the maestro behind the iconic pre-game ritual. Headlining the Freddie Jones Jazz Group, the renowned jazz artist brought his decades of experience to the forefront, captivating the audience with a performance that transcended the ordinary.

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In an interview with the Dallas Observer, Jones reflected on his unexpected journey as the Cowboys’ national anthem artist. Dispelling any notion of a childhood dream to perform the anthem, he shared, “I just wanted to play it with no tricks. And it’s fun. I didn’t wake up one morning and go, ‘Oh my god, how cool would it be to play the national anthem?’ Nah, I didn’t do that. It was the last thing I would think I was gonna be doing.”

Despite the absence of tricks, Jones’s rendition was anything but ordinary. The crowd, both in the stadium and those watching at home, was treated to a musical experience that went beyond the customary pre-game formalities. The jazz-infused national anthem set the perfect tone for a thrilling gridiron showdown between the Cowboys and the Commanders.

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While the game has progressed, the memory of Freddie Jones’s enchanting national anthem performance lingers, reminding fans that the magic of Thanksgiving football extends beyond the field, creating lasting moments etched in the annals of tradition.