Training camp is quickly approaching. Soon the Dallas Cowboys will be in jerseys, shorts, and at a certain point, pads, while preparing for the 2018 season.
The Cowboys operate a lot like any football team on any level. The offense wears one color (white), the defense wears another (blue), and the quarterbacks
wear red or an alternate color also wear white. What?
As you’re likely aware, most football teams clothe their quarterback in a color that distinguishes them apart from the rest of the offense. This is done so that the defensive players know not to hit them during practice. Your quarterback is your life, after all.
Cowboys quarterbacks wear the same color as the rest of the offense
Quarterbacks typically wear red. If one of the team’s primary colors is red (say the Chiefs), sometimes the signal-callers will wear yellow or green or black. You get the picture.
Why. Don't. The. Cowboys QBs. Wear. Red. Or. Alternate. Color. Jerseys. pic.twitter.com/6XzR36eJUa— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) July 26, 2017
Dallas quarterbacks are not distinguished from the rest of the offensive players, though. Finding an answer to this has been a quest for most of my life, but so far we’ve come up thin.
There are other moments throughout training camps (or practices in general) where other garments are worn. Sometimes helmet covers or vests are worn throughout special teams drills or other specific practices, so the idea of distinction is not lost on the Cowboys.
So it makes sense to put red vests on at times & green vests on at times but we can't have QBs wear red jerseys like literally everyone else pic.twitter.com/KL6zSlSsCX— RJ Ochoa (@rjochoa) July 27, 2017
The best quarterback in Cowboys history doesn’t know the answer either
A few years ago I was able to ask Roger Staubach’s daughter, author Michelle S. Grimes, about this. She didn’t know the answer (why would she?) so she went to Captain America himself.
“I asked him and he said really no reason. He just didn’t wear the red. I guess the red is so [the] quarterback doesn’t get hit. Maybe he trusted his teammates so much, haha. But seriously he said he just didn’t wear it and not for any particular reason sounds like.”
Think about that for a second. Even Roger Staubach doesn’t know the answer to this.
If Rodger the Dodger doesn’t know then odds of us finding out are really slim, but fortunately there are other people with deep associations to the Cowboys that we can ask. Last year at training camp I asked none other than Gil Brandt, but his answer didn’t exactly provide any clarity either.
“We never did. I don’t know why.” -Gil Brandt
Many people have offered their suggestions as to why the Cowboys quarterbacks are red jersey-less. I’ve heard things from “it reminds them of the Redskins and 49ers” to “the defense doesn’t need that because they have enough control to stop on their own.”
While these answers sound nice and would be lines in the Disney movie about this idea, they don’t make sense. There has to be a reason why, but we may never know it.
What’s your best guess?