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The Dallas Cowboys’ original name: You’re not going to believe what they used to be called!




Throughout the History of the NFL and given its franchise model, it’s not uncommon for a team to uproot and reband in a new city (or market in NFL Business parlance) with this shifts involving a change in team name.

In 1996, the Houston Oilers became the Titans after moving to Tennessee with the most recent change involving the Raiders as they moved from Oakland to Las Vegas in 2020. These teams can be added to a lengthy list of cities (San Diego, Tennessee, St. Louis) who have seen their NFL teams move with financial aspects invariably at the heart of any transition.

In July of 2020, the Washington Football Team, previously known as the Redskins, announced their rebranding, and then in 2022 this was confirmed as a full official change to the Washington Commanders.

Controversy grew over the years as Native Americans deemed the Redskins name a racial slur, although the organization always stated that they opted for this name to honor the Native American tribes.

Name changes in Dallas

The city of Dallas was granted an NFL franchise in January 1960 with the team first known as the Dallas Steers, then the Dallas Rangers. In March 1960, the organization eventually announced that the team name was the Cowboys to avoid confusion with the Dallas Rangers baseball team (now known as the Texas Rangers).

Since their inception, the Dallas Cowboys have won five Super Bowls and continue to be one of the best-supported teams in the country, regardless of their record and despite the lack of a championship each season (their last triumph was in 1995). They have extended their sell-out streak to more than 20 years and the last time they failed to sell all available tickets for a Game was in 2002.

That incredible popularity is the how they earned their nickname, ‘America’s Team’. In 1978 Bob Ryan, now the editor-in-chief of NFL Films, coined the moniker while preparing their season highlight reel.

Dallas Cowboys fans
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Dallas Cowboys fans

For the first Game of the 1979 season, CBS commentator Pat Summerall introduced them as ‘America’s Team’ and they have been known as such ever since.