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Why the Cowboys almost always wear white jerseys (when they have the choice)

The Cowboys rarely ever wear blue jerseys, as one of the few sports teams that opt to wear white jerseys at home.

DALLAS — When the Cowboys and 49ers take the field Sunday, they'll feature two of the more aesthetically pleasing uniform combinations in football: The Cowboys in their classic white jerseys with silver-blue pants; the 49ers in their scarlet red jerseys and bronze-gold pants.

Unlike the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did Monday night, the 49ers have opted to wear the traditional dark-color jerseys as the home team.

The team Tweeted out an image of their classic red jerseys Sunday afternoon, meaning the Cowboys will be wearing white uniforms.

WFAA's Mike Leslie got a look at the Cowboys in their fresh threads as they headed to the field at Levi's Stadium:

Credit: AP
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) warms up before an NFL divisional playoff football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)

But beyond the classic nature of the uniforms Sunday, they'll be a more familiar - and maybe a bit luckier - look for Dallas fans.

The Cowboys rarely ever wear blue jerseys, as one of the few sports teams to wear white jerseys at home.

And since most teams wear dark uniforms at home, Dallas usually dons the white threads on the road, too.

The uniform wrinkle has led to a bit of apprehension when the Cowboys break out the blues; before Monday night's win over Tampa Bay, Dallas was 1-6 wearing the blues in the playoffs, including a loss in Super Bowl V.

Maybe the win over the Buccaneers put the jinx on hold. But it still might be comforting to see the Cowboys in their traditional white jerseys Sunday - the same ones they wore in 1993, when they beat San Francisco in the NFC Championship Game.

Credit: AP
San Francisco 49ers safeties Dana Hall (28) and Davis Whitmore (41) can only watch as the Dallas Cowboys celebrate a fourth-quarter, 6-yard touchdown run by Kelvin Martin (83) with a little less than four minutes remaining in their match up, Sunday, Jan. 18, 1993 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. The score gave the Cowboys their 30-20 NFC Championship title. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

What started the white jersey trend for Dallas?

It goes back to the franchise's founding in 1960.

The team's president and general manager, Tex Schramm (who, oddly enough, was born in California) wanted the Cowboys to wear white at home, longtime Cowboys scout Gil Brandt told the AP in 2019.

Schramm's reasoning, at least publicly, Brandt explained, was that he wanted fans of the upstart Dallas franchise to get a sampling of the league's colors. But there was more to it.

"Our explanation was that we wanted our fans to have the ability to understand what the Bears' jerseys looked like, what the Cardinals' jerseys looks like, what the Packers' jerseys look like," Brandt said. "When in reality, we did it because we thought it created an advantage for us in that they had to sit on the sunny side of the field, and we got to sit in the shade."

The idea, Schramm thought, was that the Cowboys, then playing at the Cotton Bowl, would be cooler in the heat in white jerseys.

Dallas kept the home whites tradition going, as they moved to the partially open-air Texas Stadium in Irving.

Credit: AP
FILE - San Francisco 49ers defensive end Cedrick Hardman (86) eyes Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach (12) moments before sacking him for a loss in first quarter in San Francisco, Dec. 12, 1977. The 49ers-Cowboys playoff history is a rich one from back-to-back conference title games in the early 1970s, the iconic “Catch” in the 1981 season and then the heated rivalry in the 1990s. (AP Photo/File)

Cowboys equipment director Mike McCord told Fox Sports in 2017 that the lighter jerseys were again an advantage in Irving.

“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," McCord said. "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.”

The Cowboys don't have that problem now, playing in the climate-controlled confines of AT&T Stadium. 

But some habits are hard to kick.


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