NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tex Schramm often called Gil Brandt into his office to look at the fabric swatches draped all over his furniture, wanting another opinion on the right jersey and pants combination for the Dallas Cowboys.
He sure hit on a winning combination. Decades later, Cowboys' jerseys remain among the NFL's top sellers.
"The uniform thing was a special project to him," said Brandt, now historian and player analyst for NFL.com after helping Schramm build the Cowboys. "I can't tell you how much time I spent with him looking at these uniforms and saying, 'Yeah, I think this is the best. This will show up the best on television.'"
As the NFL enters its 100th season, what players wear on the field may have changed the most, going from leather helmets and long-sleeved turtlenecks and sweaters to plastic helmets with jerseys and pants almost shrink-wrapped to fit. The main reason why players wear a jersey remains unchanged even a century later: to tell who plays for which team.
"You want something to identify yourself, right?" said Jon Kendle, director of archives and football information at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.