Earning The Star
The blue star on the side of the Dallas Cowboys’ helmet is one of the most recognizable and iconic symbols in the world. But wearing a star on your helmet, Cowboys rookies learned during Rookie Camp, is not a right. It’s a privilege that must be earned.
“The star is very important to us,” notes head coach Jason Garrett. “The star is an international symbol. It’s the Dallas football Cowboys. And the players hear me say that a lot. The star means something. This team has been around for more than 55 years, and it’s a great tradition. You have to earn the right to wear that star, and we’re very clear with the players about that.Just because you sign with the Dallas Cowboys doesn’t mean you earned that thing yet.”
Rookies won’t earn the star on their helmet until they make the roster. Right now, it doesn’t matter if you’re a highly touted first-round draft pick like linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, or an undrafted free agent cornerback like Charvarius Ward from Middle Tennessee State. All rookies start with a clean slate. Everyone works on a level playing field.
The first time a rookie wears a star on his helmet will be in his first preseason game. As soon as the game is over and it’s back to the Training Camp practice field in Oxnard, the equipment staff removes the stars from the rookies’ helmets.
When a rookie makes the 53-man roster at the end of camp, he earns his blue star full-time.
The tradition of “earning the star” started long before Garrett took over as head coach. When Bill Parcells arrived at Valley Ranch in 2003, first round pick Terence Newman and other rookies like Jason Witten and Tony Romo were star-less. Of course, each of those players went on to outstanding careers.
And as a point of pride, “earning the star” also applies to the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders rookie hopefuls. They do not earn their stars (nor their boots) until they’ve completed a grueling three-month summer DCC Training Camp.
So, when you see the blue star, know that the entire Cowboys’ organization takes tremendous pride in its iconic symbol. To wear the star, YOU GOTTA EARN IT!