New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick long has said that football season starts after Thanksgiving. But while New England’s first 10 games this season have made post-Thanksgiving football an afterthought, Belichick’s mantra now lives on in a different NFL locker room.

Belichick can thank former Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore for it.

When addressing the Cowboys locker room after Dallas’ Week 11 blowout of the Carolina Panthers, Gilmore shared that message with his teammates.

“Let’s learn from this, man. We left some plays out there, but we got the (win). That’s what matters,” Gilmore said, per the team. “It’s going to be a big stretch for us, man. We got to play our best football going forward. Real football starts after Thanksgiving. Let’s turn it up a notch.”

Story continues below advertisement

While Gilmore and the 7-3 Cowboys remain in competition in the NFC East, Belichick’s Patriots are inching closer to the top pick in the NFL draft. If the draft were to be held after Week 11, the Patriots would have the third overall selection.

Featured image via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports Images