Jack Eskridge, the Man Who Created the Dallas Cowboys’ Logo, Has Died

Jack Eskridge is the man not wearing a uniform in the bottom right. Photo: Dallas Cowboys

Seems strange now to think that somewhere, at some point, someone designed the Dallas Cowboys logo. It’s likely the world’s most recognizable team logo, second only to maybe the New York Yankees. The man who created that logo, Jack Eskridge, died Monday; he was 89. According to his obituary, he led an incredible life before creating the logo, witnessing the flag-raising at Iwo Jima during World War II and playing basketball at Kansas:

Jack also played two years professional basketball with the Chicago Stags and Indianapolis Jets. After graduation Jack coached the Kansas League Champions at Atchison High. “Phog” Allen recruited Jack to be an Assistant Basketball Coach and equipment manager for KU from 1954-1959, where he recruited Wilt Chamberlain. In 1959 he was hired by Tom Landry to be the Dallas Cowboys equipment manger (1960-1973) where he designed the Star on the helmet.

Iwo Jima, Wilt Chamberlain, Dallas Cowboys logo, all before he turned 37. When professional football teams began including players’ names on their jerseys, he quipped to Sports Illustrated“We’re double-stitching the veterans’ jerseys and single-stitching the rookies’.” In the book Tales From The Dallas Cowboys Sideline, All-Pro and Cowboys Ring of Honor member Cliff Harris reminisced about how he received the number 43:

People have asked me how I decided to wear number 43. The truth is, I did not decide on that number…I really had no choice. Jack Eskridge assigned me that number. Period. As a rookie I had very little control over what happened to me. The vets got all the good perks…

…when I went up to the opening in the cage where Jack practically lived and asked for a game jersey, he threw me number 43. I thought it was a good number, but I knew it had been worn years before by  one of the original great Cowboys, Don Perkins. He was an excellent running back who is in the “Ring of Honor” in Texas Stadium.

I told Jack, “This is Perkins’ number. I want another number.”

He just laughed and said, “Hell, boy, it doesn’t really matter…you ain’t makin’ the team anyway!”

That story goes on to explain that Eskridge didn’t particularly care for the “cool Adidas or Puma shoes,” and preferred Riddells and Wilsons. I have an email in to the Cowboys for comment; if I hear back I’ll update.

Comments

  • Freeze

    I’ll never forget Coach Eskridge at Liberty Junior High in Richardson. Especially when he made us chant “Rock Chalk, Jayhawk” over and over in 1988 the day after KU won the national championship. Also, he invented a machine called “The Jumper” that was used to increase vertical jump. Had no idea about his Cowboys background, which is crazy. He was awesome.

  • grantboone

    His grandson, Zack, was an outstanding QB at Midwestern State (leading all of Division II in passing efficiency his junior season) who was in training camp with the Cowboys wearing the logo Jack designed.

  • Romond Lax

    He will forever be missed. As a wide receiver playing for Coach Eskridge at Liberty Junior High in Richardson, one of my many favorite sayings from coach came whenever we dropped a passed was “The ball hit you in a bad spot, your hands”! I too had no idea of his incredible past. We love and will miss you Coach! Rest in peace.

  • Cowboy74

    Eskridge may have designed the star, but the concept of putting a star on the helmet came from Alicia Landry.

    • zeskridge1212

      That is correct. She came up with the old blue star. Jack designed the star that is currently on the silver helmet and is associated with all Cowboys memorabilia. He gave it the 3D look that it has today.

  • Bubbagolfs

    Coach Eskridge was an assistant /JV coach for my jr and sr years in high school back in ’92-’93 at engle wood Christian. I still to this day use his line on a short jumpshot “Never up never in!” Not to mention my favorite history teacher of all time. I wrote a paper on him in college and can confirm his stories. He was a very passionate and caring man. They just don’t make them like that anymore!

  • Charley Texanssuck Moffett

    RIP

  • Marcus

    Hey freeze, i remember the rock chalk chant too because i grew up a sooners fan so i was bitter.