Why the Cowboys’ helmets have a red stripe for Week 9 game vs. Broncos

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The Cowboys helmets will look a little different than usual during their Week 9 clash with the Broncos on Sunday afternoon.

Instead of having a white stripe sandwiched by two blue stripes in the middle of the helmet, the Cowboys have added a red stripe to the mix. That means there will be three stripes down the center of the headgear, one red, one white and one blue.

Why are the Cowboys doing this? There’s a patriotic reason for it.

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The Cowboys are using the stripe to “honor the U.S. military and the country’s National Medal of Honor recipients” via the NFL’s “Salute to Service” campaign, per the team’s official website. It marks the first time since 1976 — America’s bicentennial celebration —  that the team will include a red stripe on its helmet.

“This will truly be a special day for all of us as we salute the men and women around the world who protect and defend our country,” said Charlotte Jones, Cowboys Executive Vice President and Chairman of the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation in a statement. “We are honored to have our Medal of Honor recipients in attendance, representing the 3,508 recipients of the nation’s most prestigious military decoration, who made heroic sacrifices, many the ultimate sacrifice, while preserving our freedom.

“The red stripe on the helmet provides a beautiful ribbon to wrap around this salute to those who currently serve our country’s military — and the patriotic love and appreciation that we all share for those who came before them.”

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What is the NFL’s “Salute to Service” campaign?

According to NFL.com, the Salute to Service campaign is “a year-round effort Honor, Empower, and Connect our nation’s service members, veterans, and their families.”

The NFL has annual “Salute to Service” games, which are taking place in Week 9 this season, and provides recognition for military members at other contests and events throughout the calendar year. They also partner with military nonprofit organizations to further connect the league to the U.S. military.

Since the program launched in 2011, the NFL has raised $51 million for its military nonprofit partners. Some of these donations are generated through the sale of camouflage jerseys and apparel that the league sells.

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