Last year, for the first time in 12 years, the Dallas Cowboys did not wear throwback uniforms on Thanksgiving Day. Turns out, this was not a decision made on a whim, but rather, a response to a change in NFL rules.
The throwback tradition began in 2001, when the team took the field in the double-starred jerseys originally worn in 1994, in honor of the league’s 75th anniversary. They wore those for three years, before switching to a 1960 throwback--a white helmet with a plain blue star, blue jerseys with white sleeves and stars on the shoulders (pictured here on Dez Bryant in 2012).
The team stuck with the 1960 throwback from 2004 until last year, when the they took the field in their standard blue jerseys, usually reserved for the occasional road game.
So what happened?
Well, as explained by a video on the team’s official website, in 2013 the NFL’s new concussion protocol stipulated that team’s must wear their normal helmets when wearing throwback jerseys. The team’s current helmets are silver, of course, meaning they had three options--go back to the 1994 double-star jersey, paint all their helmets white, or roll with regular jerseys.
They went for the last option.
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