Thanksgiving Classic

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Wearing Blue at Home

Some discouraging news this week: Despite clear evidence that the Cowboys’ normal blue jerseys bring bad luck (and you will just have to accept my conclusory statement as truth), the Cowboys are going to wear their regular blue jerseys on Thanksgiving Day. The team is doing so because the only other option would be to wear the silver helmets with the throwback uniforms from the early 1960s.

Not sure why the team could not figure out a way to use the silver helmets with the throwbacks, but that’s a different matter.

The Cowboys wore their original blue jerseys during the first four years of the franchise’s existence from 1960 to 1963. When the team changed uniforms in 1964, the Cowboys began their tradition of wearing white at home instead of blue.

The Cowboys first wore their current throwback uniforms in 2004. The Cowboys unveiled those jerseys on Thanksgiving Day against the Bears. Chicago wore orange jerseys instead of white, so the tradition of Dallas opponents wearing something other than white remained intact.

That tradition ended the following year, when Denver wore white jerseys at Texas Stadium while the Cowboys wore their blue throwbacks.

And, of course, what happened when the Cowboys wore those blue jerseys and let the Broncos wear white at Texas Stadium?

The Cowboys lost, that’s what happened! That is why, Jerry, the Cowboys do not wear blue at home!

(Just completely disregard the fact that the Cowboys have a winning record while wearing their throwback uniforms and allowing visiting teams to wear white. Work with me on this.)

(Immediate update: okay, so it’s not true that the Broncos were the first team to wear white while visiting Dallas. The Dolphins wore white when the Cowboys wore their “other” double-star “throwbacks” in 2003. But do you remember what happened in 2003? The Cowboys LOST!)

Anyway, the Cowboys will wear their normal blue uniforms at home. Trivia question: when was the last time the Cowboys wore their regular blue uniforms (not throwback uniforms) as the home team? Here’s a puzzle to help with the answer:

Yes, that was a trick question. In Super Bowl V, the NFL designated Dallas as the home team but would not let the Cowboys wear their white uniforms. That is why Dallas wore blue and Baltimore wore white. You should note immediately that the Cowboys lost Super Bowl V, and the loss is what gave rise to the blue jersey curse. (The 1980 NFC Championship Game did not help matters, either.)

* * *

As for the last time the Cowboys wore blue in a regular season home game in Dallas/Irving/Arlington, the answer is December 8, 1963, when the Pittsburgh Steelers visited Dallas in the penultimate game of the season.

And do you know what happened? Yes, Dallas LOST. Here’s a photo:

cowboys.steelers.1963.jpg

* * *

The Cowboys opened the regular season in 1964 by hosting the St. Louis Cardinals. It marked the first time the Cowboys wore white at home in a regular season game.

Not a great photo, but here is a shot from that game:

cowboys.cardinals.1964

The game marked a new era for Dallas, as the team finally rid itself of the stars on the shoulders. The team would set new standards in the years to come, all while wearing white at home.

Just never mind that the Cowboys lost the game to the Cardinals 16-6. It was not because of the white uniforms. It was because the Cowboys opened their season on a Saturday instead of a Sunday.

C’mon, work with me on this.

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An Unusual Year in the Cowboys-Eagles Series

The Cowboys and Eagles had losing records in both of their games in 1963, including this 27-20 Dallas win on November 17.

The Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles have faced one another 107 times, including the playoffs, since 1960. The Cowboys lead the series 60-47.

The rivalry is not especially interesting this year. Dallas entered the first game at 3-5 and came away with the 38-23 win. The Eagles were also 3-5.

On Sunday, the Eagles are 3-8. The Cowboys are 5-6.

This marks the first time since 1963 that the teams will play each other twice when each team had a losing record. In fact, in the 52-year history of the rivalry, this has occurred only two times.

Below is a summary. The numbers in the parentheses indicate each team’s record entering into the game.

1962

Dallas (1-2-1) 41, Philadelphia (1-3) 19

Philadelphia (2-8-1) 28, Dallas (4-5-1) 14

1963

Philadelphia (0-2-1) 28, Dallas (0-3) 14

Dallas (2-7) 27, Philadelphia (2-6-1) 20

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I posted this on Facebook yesterday:

The Cowboys are 5-6 for only the third time in team history if we disregard ties. In 1962, the Cowboys were 5-6-1 but finished at 5-8-1. Trivia: in what season other than 2012 did the Cowboys start 5-6, and what was the team’s final record that season?

The answer is 1987, which was the year of the replacement players. Just as they did in 2012, the Cowboys in 1987 hosted the Thanksgiving Day game at 5-5 and needed a win to stay alive in the playoff chase. Instead, the Vikings knocked off the Cowboys in overtime, and Dallas ended up missing the playoffs with a 7-8 record.

 

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