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Cowboys-Redskins Rivalry May Have a New Name Soon

The Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins have been division foes since 1961, Dallas’ second season as a franchise. Their rivalry has been one of the most storied in all of sports, let alone NFL history. But as major pressure now mounts on Washington to finally change the team name, the Cowboys and the NFC East will also have to adjust.

Just this morning, Washington released the following statement regarding the name:

“In light of recent events around our country and feedback from our community, the Washington Redskins are announcing the team will undergo a thorough review of the team’s name. This review formalizes the initial discussions the team has been having with the league in recent weeks.”

The conversation about whether or not “Redskins” is a racial slur and should be done away with has been around for a long time. The first attempt at legal action against it was in 1992 when a Native American organization filed for the trademark rights to be cancelled.

Various other suits and complaints have occurred over the last three decades. The most famous occurred in 2014 when the trademark was temporarily revoked but eventually restored on appeal with the Supreme Court.

It’s no surprise that the issue has resurfaced in 2020 given the current social climate. As the country is embroiled in discussion and conflict over racial division, the Redskins name is now being targeted again and by bigger, more influential entities than ever before.

The biggest move came yesterday when FedEx, who owns the naming rights to the Washington stadium, formally requested the franchise to change the name. In addition, Nike removed all Redskins merchandise from its online store.

Owner Daniel Snyder was willing to deal with the public relations backlash before. But now big money movers are involved and he may finally have to surrender.

While most would argue that the Cowboys’ rivalries with the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants are more potent in the current era, their historic conflict with Washington has the longest legacy. The natural aesthetic of “Cowboys vs Indians” made for easy marketing, and the two franchises delivered with classic back-and-forth throughout most of the 60s and 70s.

Jason Witten, Redskins

Things have become more one-sided in recent years. Dallas has built a 73-45-2 record against Washington all-time. They are currently enjoying a period of dominance with an 11-3 record since the 2013 season.

From 1997-2004, the Cowboys only lost two out of 16 games against Washington. These stretches of futility from the Redskins, which are indicative of their general place as the NFC East’s basement sweller, have taken a lot of sizzle out of the rivalry.

Nevertheless, matchups between Dallas and Washington are still circled dates on every season’s calendar. They tend to be in primetime slots or the Thanksgiving Day games, and they still have a huge impact on division contention and postseason goals.

If Washington does elect to re-brand the franchise, and it’s starting to look like they may not have a choice, how far they take it will be fascinating to watch. They will be the most historically prominent U.S. sports team to make this move without any relocation involved.

There are many ways they could go with the change. A minimal approach would be keeping their Native American mascot/emblem and changing the name to something like “Warriors,” so long as they don’t mind sharing it with a very popular NBA team. But even that may not be enough to satisfy some critics.

They could also embrace their location in the political center of the country, perhaps resurrecting “Senators” or some other name with that theme.

The name “Pigskins” would make a lot of sense. They could still have “Skins” as a short name and preserve part of team tradition with the “Hogs.” Many fans still wear pig noses in tribute to Washington’s great offensive line from the 80s and 90s. “Washington Warthogs” also rolls off the tongue nicely, and could make for a good logo.

Where this will go from here is going to be very interesting.  But for the first time in this almost 30-year discussion, it appears the Washington football team is finally closer to changing its name than not.

Perhaps as soon next season, “Cowboys versus ___” will be a new era in one of sports’ most storied rivalries.

What do you think?

Jess Haynie

Written by Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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  1. If Daniel Snyder needs to pander to Fed Ex for a new stadium, why not just cave completely and call them the Washington FedEx’s…change the colors to blue and orange with the FedEx logo on the helmet.
    Otherwise, tell the social justice warriors to stick it.

    • I like the name and would hate to see it changed. But, if they change it, there has to be other team names changed. The Chiefs have to change because it has a history of being affiliated with one specific ethnic group and that might offend some. Chiefs also Lord over the regular people and that is offensive to me because we should all be equals with no one better than the rest. That’s why participation trophies are given out to everyone. The Browns. Where do you even begin with that one? I can’t imagine a person of color playing for a team with a name of color. How blatantly offensive to African Americans and Hispanics wherever they originate from. The Cowboys have to immediately change because how dare they call themselves a name that is gender specific. Come on, this is 2020 and they should be the Cow Persons. How about the Steelers? What could be wrong with that? Well, the steel industry blatantly used child labor in very unsafe conditions. The Packers? Ask the PETA crowd about that because there has to be something wrong with glorifying an industry that starts skinning an animal before it is even dead (I refer you to YouTube on that. Just watch, you may never want to eat a steak again). But, then again, any team with an animal name is going to be offensive to the Disney crowd because it does not represent animals accurately as we all know animals share almost all human characteristics. OMG, what about the Giants? If we can have a Giant, would it be acceptable to have a dwarf or call them “The Washington Little People or Midgets.”. No, that would be terrible. Giants have to go because we are pointing out a crazy genetic trait (acromegaly) or, dare i say, a birth defect and we are bringing attention to and celebrating birth defects at the expense of those with such said defects. The Senators? Who in the blue bell would want to be named after a group of elitists that have an ongoing approval rating less than 20%? Personally, I like the Redskins name and I’m embarrassed for them that they have been so shamed that they are removing a person from their Ring of Honor, removed his statue and are considering changing their name. If we are going down this road, my first request is to remove O.J. Simpson from the HOF for murdering two people, armed robbery and kidnapping (yes, he was found liable in the civil suit). He’s about as bad as it gets. Bottom line, there will always be somebody who chooses to be offended. I say leave it up to the players. Nobody is forcing them to play for the Skins if it hurts their feelings on the matter. I’m sure there are plenty people who would line up to take their place. Maybe the Rooney Rule could be expanded to make sure that every ethnic group and not just African Americans has to be interviewed during the Head Coach hiring process because maybe some obscure Pakistani coach is getting overlooked in the hiring process. And we all know…wink, wink…that those owners and GMs would really dump their only choice for a new head coach to hire the Chinese guy who scored an interview just because of his gene pool. The “Delete” group is out of freaking control. They have turned an amazing sporting event into a political mess to further their agendas. Nobody is forcing you to watch. It’s America and you have the right to agree or disagree Hey, tomorrow is July 4th. Wishing all a great day.

  2. The last time I heard the Indian tribes didn’t have a problem with the name. The Woke people and the P.C. people are a bunch of idiots and we should SHUT them down. The reason these professional teams use these names are out of Respect to them. Maybe African Americans are White people should be offended by not having a team with a Mascot named after them!

  3. How is a cowboy not racist they use to kill native Americans. Redskins is a tribute to native Americans.

    • Stop! You are making too much sense! That is not allowed. You must follow the crowd or you, yourself, may be the target of their emotional tantrums next.

  4. Just Breaking!! All the real cowboys in Texas has come together and are calling for the football team Dallas Cowboys to change their name if they can’t start winning some ball games , because it is embarrassing to their profession! Sponsors such as Justin boots, wrangler jeans, Stetson hats, big buckle belt companies, and Copenhagen tobacco company , are threatening to pull their sponsorship if they can’t get to the post season! These real Cowboys feel that it is offensive to their Image to be associated with a loosing team because they are know as being Rough and tough winners while on the range punching doggies!!

    • Finally, a voice of reason. This is the best idea I’ve heard yet.

      A potato aptly depicts the last 30 years of Washington football, too.

  5. Hey Jess, They were rivals before 61. They were rivals before the cowboys ever became a team. The owner of the Redxxxxs was the only one to vote against Dallas coming into the league. Clint Murchison had to buy the rights to the Washington team’s theme song to force the Washington owner to change his vote in order to get the rights to the song back. That was just the first spur in the rivalry.
    My father bought season tickets to the Cowboy from 1960 to 1986. I missed going to 1 game in 26 years. Have never missed a game on TV. Even during the blackout years, we drove up to Sherman, Tx.
    and watch the game on a 12-volt tv in the car.

  6. Sure everybody sees the Redskins are being pressured to change a name over racists and perceived offense. However the Cowboys will have to realize that if this happens their days are numbered too. How many western cowboys killed Indians 200 years ago. The remaining Native Americans will easily claim the name reminds them of the oppression that took place. If I was Jerry Jones I would fight along side with Dan Snyder. The Cowboys will be next.

    • How many pioneers, cowboys and military personnel have been killed by Indians? This goes both ways and Indians have not been singularly been pointed out for any of their atrocities that include war parties that would kill, capture and, get this, enslave rival tribe members. It’s in the history books and it is history whether we like it or not. We can’t “delete” that from American history. But, what is happening is that there is a movement to erase systemic black oppression going on, which I do embrace, which has gone off the tracks in some areas. Renaming the Redskins being one of them. Please people, black oppression has to stop, period! Bad cops need to be fired or put in jail because they are bad to all colors of people which includes whites. We’ve experienced that in our own family. But, grasping at changing the name of the Redskins is a deflection of what is really going on. It does not erase in history the inhumanity of men towards other men. Start by putting these police offers on trial for their crimes. Put them in general population to serve their entire sentence. Take their property, freeze their accounts, take their assets and give to the families of those whose life they have taken or whose rights they have violated. Start with that and stop deflecting to the name of the Redskins has to be changed. Now, what happened to those 28 “hate it” votes that were there yesterday? Someone, with a political agenda, is playing with the numbers to not reflect accurately what the readers think about the topic of this story!

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