Dallas Cowboys Helmet

The Lone Star: Dallas Cowboys Helmet History

The Dallas Cowboys helmet history begins in 1960 with a look many aren’t accustomed to seeing as the familiar silver-blue, royal, navy, and metallic-silver make up the bulk of the Cowboys’ history. Complete with the double-outlined lone-star the Cowboys’ look has become one of the most if not the most recognizable in sports.

However, the Cowboys indeed started with something different; in fact, even their name was different upon the team’s founding, going by the Dallas Steers. Not long after, the Steers became the Dallas Rangers, but to avoid confusion with another professional sports team going by the Rangers, the team finally settled on the Cowboys.

There’s definitely a strange beginning here that would ironically lead to arguably the most iconic team identity in sports today.

Beginnings

1960-1963 version of the lone star helmet.

When the Cowboys debuted in 1960, they bore a white helmet with a blue lone-star. This look lasted until 1963 when the Cowboys traded in the white for silver-blue prior to the 1964 season, which remains the helmet shell to this day.

The only difference between the new silver helmet of the time and the modern-day helmet is the fact the lone star lacked a double-outline, opting instead for the single outline. The crown stripe running down the middle also consisted of blue and white for both versions.

The single-outlined star was worn between 1964 and 1966, as well as its last appearances which occurred in the 1967 preseason, as it was quite normal for teams to wear an older look for preseason at the time before morphing into something new for the regular season.

 

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Modern-Day

Since 1967 the double-star outline, which is seen to this day, has mobbed the sides of the Cowboys’ helmets. An additional outline was done to give the logo a bolder look and feel, which has remained unchanged.

Since the swap, the Cowboys have seen 8 Super Bowl appearances with 5 Super Bowl wins, the last of which came in 1995, plus dozens of Hall of Famers and NFC East Championships.

Second version of the lone star helmet, worn from 1964-1966.

While the Cowboys’ helmet has remained unchanged, they did do a one-year project with the helmet in 1976. To celebrate America’s bicentennial year, the Cowboys tweaked the right-hand side of their crown stripe, changing the color from blue to red while the left-hand side remained blue.

In 1994, the Cowboys decided to wear an updated version of their 1960 throwback uniforms, keeping the double-star helmet with the throwbacks in favor of reverting back to white during throwback weekends.

The white helmet did make a comeback, however, in the early 21st century. On Thanksgiving Day in 2003, they resurrected the 1960-1963 uniforms, complete with the white helmet, and continued to wear this look on select Thanksgiving Day games until the NFL banned teams from using multiple-colored helmets starting in 2013.

Since 2013, the team has been forced to wear its normal double-star helmets, but have paired them with updated classic jerseys on Thanksgiving Day and other weekends, some of which included the double-star jerseys, along with the wearing of their normal blue jerseys on Thanksgiving as well.

 

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My Take

The Cowboys’ bicentennial helmets, worn during the 1976 season.

The Cowboys definitely have earned one of the most iconic looks not just in the NFL, but in sports history. While their classic logos hold a similar vibe, the lone star doesn’t pop like it does with the double-outlined logo. Sports fans from all over the world, NFL fans or not, always recognize the Cowboys look once they’ve come across it. It’s truly a one of a kind logo and helmet that neither is nor should go anywhere anytime soon.

The fact that so much success has been seen with the current helmet tells me the look isn’t going anywhere any time soon, nor should it. Being one of the most recognizable looks in sports has given this team a brand that very few can mimic, with perhaps only the New York Yankees of the MLB (whose look has gone international) can rival.

It’s truly a look that has stood the test of over fifty seasons, and I can bet you a bundle it’ll stand for fifty more seasons, so long as the NFL continues its existence.

 

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Conclusion

The Cowboys struck gold with such a look, and ironically so, being one of the NFL’s more middle-aged teams having been founded in 1960. Their storied helmet, logo, and uniform history are very non-typical of a team founded in more recent seasons, or at least in NFL terms, being the first expansion team of the league’s modern era which began in 1960 when Pete Rozelle took over as NFL Commissioner.

There’s much to love about the Cowboys even from those NFL fans who might deem the team as sworn enemies to their own, and there are a lot of teams out there who can claim such a moniker. But if one thing is for certain, they all know about how quickly the team won over millions both here in the States and around the world, and continue to do so with their international brand.

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10 comments

  1. I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan by association; my dad moved to the states from Australia and being that the Cowboys were called “America’s Team”, he immediately took to following them. I love seeing the throwback helmets when they use them, I personally like the old look better than the new silver and blue. 

    1. I’m with you, Haleigh, and while I think the Cowboys have the best helmet in the league, the white/navy color contrast is one of the best in sports. I doubt the team will ever return to that look since they’ve won five Super Bowls in their current helmets, but either way, it’s a great look. 

  2. The Dallas Cowboys have been one of the teams that I’ve followed over the years as I don’t necessarily have a “favorite” pro team, but still enjoy watching the game.

    Their logo is definitely iconic across more than just sports fans like you said. But in my opinion I actually like the original white helmet better than the silver. I feel that they could still do a double star somehow but with a white helmet which would keep the nicer looking logo while giving it a throwback look.

    It’s very interesting reading about how logos and teams evolve and the Cowboys helmet is no different!

    1. I personally love watching the Cowboys and they’re one of the few teams I’ll root for after Cleveland and (to an extent) Minnesota. I think the original white helmet displays far more color contrast, which I’ve always seen as a plus in the NFL. 

  3. This is really cool. The Dallas Cowboys is definitely my favorite team in the NFL. My dad was a huge Cowboys fan. So I grew up watching the Cowboys on TV every time they played and it grew on me after a while. Now that I am older, I am doing the same thing with my son lol. I also collect anything sports collectibles, especially anything that deals with the cowboys which is why I am glad I came across your article. I am in the market for a helmet and this was exactly what I was looking for. Great article, definitely going to share this article in my Dallas Cowboys fan club on Facebook. 

    1. They’re on TV a lot, even here in the Pittsburgh region. Not just their popularity, but the helmet and logo is by far, far and a way the best the NFL has to offer. You just can’t go wrong with the Lone Star. 

  4. I was a football fan for years when I was younger, but due to sports injuries I had to out it down with basketball and skateboarding too. Sometimes I’ll watch a game and usually I’m in the bandwagon for the super bowl and similar significant games / gatherings.

    I respect football for it’s rigid structure, chaos and amazing plays much similar to some basketball plays I used to drill with my team at the time in school. Who is your number one favorite player in the Cowboys? I do enjoy watching them for the excitement and engaging flips throughout the games until it’s BOOM TOUCHDOWN!!

    1. You know who the bandwagon team is this year, right, Rowan? The Browns! My team. Lol. And yeah, I love the way football is, but man, it can be more physical like it was in the past. Not what it used to be from a physicality standpoint, I must admit. Number One favorite Cowboy ever? Deion Sanders. Favorite lifelong Cowboy? I would say Emmitt but he bailed for Arizona in 2003 and 2004, so I have to go with Aikman. From a historical standpoint, I’m going with Tony Dorsett, but he retired a few years before I was born. 

  5. Love me some Dallas Cowboy football and everything about the team. I didnt realize that the first helmet was back in 1960 as I thought they didnt start wearing them until 1964 so I learned something today. That is awesome. Personally I like the throwback football helmets and the uniforms much better than the current ones. I hope they eventually go back to them I heard talk of such but either way Dallas Cowboys ROCK!

    1. Yep, the 1960 team went winless 0-11-1 and donned some white helmets. I personally loved that look. I wish the NFL would start allowing throwback helmets again someday, as so many of them look good. 

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