In the early days of sports, wearing white was associated with playing at home. As time has gone on, that has changed. This is especially true in the NFL. When you are talking about the color palette of NFL teams, home uniforms tend to highlight the team colors, while the road jerseys tend to be white.
Think of the color scheme for different football teams’ home jerseys. The Minnesota Vikings rock the purple and yellow. The Pittsburgh Steelers wear their iconic black and yellow. We could talk about the Detroit Lions, the Green Bay Packers, the Buffalo Bills and so on. You can picture the hues of those home uniforms.
Over the years, we’ve also seen some teams adapt and adjust their looks. It’s not always great, and we miss those old-school Denver Broncos unis or when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wore Creamsicle-style attire. The Seattle Seahawks seem to have a different look every other season, often featuring some searingly bright colors.
One National Football League team that has stayed steady with its color code is the Dallas Cowboys. While there have been some tweaks, the Dallas Cowboys team colors have mainly remained the same. Notably, the Cowboys always wear white jerseys at home. Why are they one one of the only teams to wear white at home?
The reasoning is pretty practical.
Why the Dallas Cowboys Wear White at Home
Football is a fall and winter sport, but those early games take place in September. Preseason games can kick off in July. Down in Texas, it can be scorching hot that time of the year. That’s actually why the Cowboys began to wear white at home.
Games at their old home Texas Stadium were scorching hot. Wearing white absorbed less heat, and it also meant opponents who had to wear their team colors. Dallas would stay relatively calm while the Philadelphia Eagles or New York Giants would sweat it out on the gridiron.
“Originally, the white at home started with the heat, especially at Texas Stadium,” Cowboys equipment director Mike McCord told FOX Sports. “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 any time 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.”
Of course, the Cowboys now play at AT&T Stadium, which is an indoor, climate-controlled venue. Other hot-weather city teams like the Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans also have indoor stadiums. Notably, the Miami Dolphins play outdoors, but they wear their team colors at home, and what lovely colors they are.
Changes to the Dallas Cowboys Color Codes
There are some other notable quirks to the Cowboys’ uniforms. Those home jerseys are primarily white, but they have highlights of royal blue while they wear turquoise-gray pants. Meanwhile, the helmets feature a darker blue color to the star that is the Dallas Cowboys logo. The background is metallic silver.
The pants don’t match the helmet because original Cowboys President and General Manager Tex Schramm saw a car, and he liked the color and decided the pants should be that color. It’s a pretty distinct mix of turquoise and gray. Since we aren’t Pantone employees, we can only articulate so much about it. We can’t get into the RGB and CMYK of it all.
We can say, though, that the Cowboys’ road uniforms have changed over the years. Namely, they’ve gone all-in on navy blue. They used to be royal blue, but they changed for an unsurprising reason: money. The navy blue apparel sells much better for the Cowboys. Nevertheless, Jerry Jones refuses to change the color of the home jerseys.
The Dallas Cowboys have worn their distinct colors for years and in several Super Bowls. They have also neglected the popular choice by wearing white at home. Sure, NFC East opponents aren’t sweltering in the Texas sun any longer, but tradition matters.
There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to NFL team colors. Some teams don’t seem to care.
The Los Angeles Rams just tweaked things, and the New England Patriots kicked their classic look (and Pat Patriot) to the curb years ago. The Chargers used to wear those gorgeous baby blue uniforms regularly. The Cowboys’ uniforms provide NFL fans with stability, like losing by the Cleveland Browns and lousy quarterback play for the New York Jets. Don’t even get me started about teams like the Las Vegas Raiders, Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, San Francisco 49ers and Tennessee Titans.
Everyone knows that down in Dallas the Cowboys will be wearing whites, and they will still be wearing royal blue instead of navy blue in those uniforms as long as Jerry Jones is in charge.