America has seen eight NFL teams change their uniforms in the past six years. The last team anyone would think to make changes is about to make some big changes. America’s team, the Dallas Cowboys, have one of the most iconic uniforms — white jerseys with royal blue stripes and numbers paired with turquoise-gray pants. Oddly enough, they sport the white jerseys at home. They’re one of the only teams that choose to wear white on their home field. Dallas is a team that’s known for strong traditions, so why the change?
When Jerry Jones bought the Dallas Cowboys, he was buying into the team and the brand. One of the best ways to build the brand is with an instantly recognizable uniform. Jones wanted the Cowboys to have an iconic look, like the New York Yankees and their pinstripe uniform. He wanted a home uniform that wouldn’t change and would be familiar to everyone. That’s why the away jerseys have changed over time, but the white home jerseys haven’t.
However, a lot of Cowboys fans prefer the navy jerseys. Even fan shops sell out of the navy jerseys faster. The Cowboys have made the decision to make fans happy and wear navy jerseys for a few home games throughout the season. During the past few years, the Cowboys have been wearing navy at home for Thanksgiving games, and they’ve seen some success with it. Dallas is considering navy for high-profile games or nationally televised games, but they won’t be incorporating it regularly.
Cowboys equipment director Mike McCord has been with the team since 1989, so it’s only natural that we look to him for some answers. FOX Sports was able to have a quick interview with him over the phone about the history behind the Cowboys colors.
“Originally, the white at home started with the heat, especially at Texas Stadium,” said McCord. “As hot as it could be for our late-August, early-September games, I think the heat was a big factor, and one of those things was making the other teams wear darker jerseys on the road, as well as standing in the sun on the sidelines in the old stadium was a huge factor in that. So anytime you’re wearing darker colors, it tends to retain the heat. So that was a big part of why the Cowboys wore white jerseys at home.”
Hmm… if you live in Texas, you know it’s hard to beat the heat. So maybe this was just a strategy for the Cowboys – ensuring the ‘boys are comfortable at home and ensuring their opponents aren’t. Back in the day, the old Texas Stadium didn’t have a retractable roof. The players were literally playing under the scorching sun! With a giant hole in the roof, the retained heat would make it feel like a sauna.
What about the weird blue-gray color of the Cowboys pants? Even this odd color has transformed over the years. In the 70’s, it was a pure gray. When the NFL switched to Nike, the gray stood out more with a tint of blue. On the road, however, the Cowboys wear pants with a different shade of gray – almost silver. You would probably think there’s a great big story behind the blue-gray pants, but McCord says the idea stemmed from the interior of a car!
“The ‘Cowboys Star Blue,’ which is the pants you see with the home white jerseys now, actually originated with Tex Schramm. Apparently, he had a car that he had seen – I’m not sure if he owned the car or if he just saw it – but he saw a car with that color interior and fell in love with it. So we had dye lots. That fabric is a dye-lotted color, so we have to order certain number of yards to produce it in that dye lot. So that pant color has become the color of the Cowboys for their home games.”
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