The Washington Redskins announced this morning that they will be retiring the team name and logo in response to rising complaints and public backlash due to its perceived racial insensitivity. That means this brings an end to the 60-year history of “Cowboys vs. Redskins,” one of the greatest rivalries in the NFL and the history of major American sports.
While Washington has been dealing with this debate going back to the early 1990s, the current climate and discussions around race relations in the United States gave this topic new attention. It also caused major financial powers such as Nike and FedEx, who own the naming rights to Washington’s stadium, to formally request a change.
The team made the following statement a few hours ago:
Washington changing its name will be arguably the biggest shakeup in the history of the NFC East. Even the Cardinals leaving the division in 2002, after decades as its resident whipping boys, will likely have been an easier adjustment for the rest of the teams and fanbases.
As for Cowboys fans specifically, especially the younger generations, the perception of Washington as Dallas’ greatest rival is a bit antiquated. Their lack of competitiveness during Dan Snyder’s time as owner has led to far more heated battles with the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants during the modern era.
But that didn’t stop Cowboys-Redskins games from often getting a primetime television slot, or perhaps the coveted Thanksgiving Day matchup. Despite the modern mismatch, there was still something special about seeing the blue & white lined up against the burgundy & gold.
The colors may stay the same, but it’s now official that the NFL team from Washington D.C. will soon be operating under a new brand.
For the Cowboys’ sake, let’s just hope they keep getting the same results.