The Dallas Cowboys jersey looks completely different today than when the team debuted in 1960, but has remained essentially the same since the 1970s except for a few details.
It has become one of the most iconic looks in all of sports, let alone the NFL, and instantly recognizable by both football and non-football fans around the world.
The team almost known as the Dallas Steers and later, the Dallas Rangers before switching to the Cowboys in March 1960 to avoid confusion with a baseball team of the same name, the Cowboys debuted their first jersey design.
This design consisted of a home blue jersey with white, block numbering, white shoulder panels with a blue star, and blue numbers at the sleeves.
The road look contained a white jersey, blue, block numbering, blue shoulder panels with a white star along with white numbering at the sleeves.
This look was maintained until 1963.
The Cowboys also adopted a variation of their 1960s uniforms in 1994 to celebrate back-to-back Super Bowl wins in 1992-1993, dubbed the ‘Double Star’ look, first seen on Thanksgiving Day and again throughout the 1994-1995 playoffs and select games of the 1995 season.
The Double-Star look returned on Thanksgiving Day between 2001-2003, on what the NFL dubbed Classic Throwback Weekend.
The Cowboys revived the original blue version on Thanksgiving Day in 2004, where the team wore the revived look at least once a year. They also wore this uniform in 2009 while playing the Kansas City Chiefs, who wore their old Dallas Texans look as the former AFL teams celebrated the former league’s 50th anniversary.
The Cowboys were forced to drop the look in 2013, when the NFL banned the use of using multiple helmets throughout the season. However, in 2015, with the debut of the NFL Color Rush, they revived a version of the white Double Star jerseys along with their current helmets, first seen on Thanksgiving Day against the Carolina Panthers.
In 1964, the Cowboys opted for a look that is reminiscent of their current uniform. The main difference between the new uniforms of 1964 and today’s currents is in the striping, where the team initially had three horizontal stripes, blue for the white jerseys and white for the blue jerseys. TV numbers were also moved from the sleeves to the shoulders.
It was also around this time when the NFL allowed teams to start wearing white at home other than mandating the home team wear their dark jerseys. The Cowboys have since become the only team in the NFL to wear white at home on a regular basis since the rule was adopted. Other teams, like the Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins, and Miami Dolphins, among others, wear white at home on occasion, sometimes opting to do so regularly. Still, others, like the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will wear white at home early in the season before switching to their dark jerseys between October and November.
While the jerseys remained essentially unchanged, some changes did occur, such as:
1970-1973: The team moved the TV numbers to the sleeves.
1980: The shade of blue on the road look grew darker.
1981-1994: The team switched from white to gray numbers with white outlines on the blue jerseys.
1996: The Cowboys modified the sleeves on the blue jerseys, which now featured their lone star helmet logo between the stripes.
Many believe that the Cowboys, even after the advent of color TV, continued to wear their white jerseys at home (and for the majority of their road games) because the blue jerseys were said to be jinxed. Some contribute the jinx to Super Bowl V, where the Cowboys lost to the Baltimore Colts while wearing the blue jerseys, and still others say that it started during the 1968 divisional playoffs, when the heavily favored Cowboys lost to the Cleveland Browns.
Today, the Cowboys only wear their blue jerseys when playing teams who primarily wear white at home, or against teams who want to provoke the jinx.
Still, many in Dallas do not believe in the curse, including Tex Schramm, one of the team’s first front office personnel. It should be noted that the Cowboys will wear blue at home on occasion, namely Thanksgiving Day, indicating the current ownership also refuses to believe in the jinx.
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The Cowboys have one of the best uniform combinations in the NFL, complete with the helmet and jersey. The current blue jersey, however, isn’t my favorite, both due to my own belief in the jinx (even before I researched it), and the fact that it doesn’t inverse the home whites, contrary to what the majority of NFL teams do.
For this reason, the jersey even ranked at #32 in my 2019 Road Jersey Rankings.
Nevertheless, the Cowboys are one of a handful of teams to wear attractive alternate looks throughout the years as well, even the modified versions worn in 1994 and 1995.
The team is the epitome of tradition in the NFL during a time when many teams get ‘too cute’ with their uniform combos, most notably the Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks.