Skip to content

Major Find: Browns’ ‘CB’ Logo Appeared On-Field After All (Literally)

We all know the story of the Cleveland Browns’ phantom “CB” helmet logo from 1965. It appeared on program covers, helmet plaques, Dave Boss artwork, electric football games, print ads, and other promotional items, but it never appeared on the field.

Or at least that’s what I’ve always thought. But longtime Uni Watch reader Jim Pericotti has discovered that the logo actually did appear on the field — literally! — but not on a helmet and not in Cleveland.

Here’s the deal: On Dec. 27, 1969, the Cowboys hosted the Browns in the NFL Eastern Conference Championship Game. The game took place at the Cotton Bowl, which was Dallas’s home stadium at the time. As was fairly common in those days, one end zone featured the home team’s name and logo, and the other end zone was branded for the visitors. In the case of the Browns, that meant the “CB” logo! Check it out (you can see Washington’s team name showing through beneath “Browns,” because Washington was Dallas’s opponent the previous week):

But wait, it gets better! Five days later, on New Year’s Day, Notre Dame and Texas faced off in the 1970 Cotton Bowl game. The field was repainted, of course, but a ghosted version of the “CB” logo was still visible in the Longhorns’ end zone:

So while Cleveland’s 1965 “CB” logo never appeared on a helmet, it did appear at least twice on the field — but not in 1965, not in Cleveland, and in one case not even in an NFL game!

Did anyone/everyone else already know about this? I didn’t! Are there any other similar examples out there? Did the Cowboys do this for every home game against the Browns during the late 1960s?

Incidentally, the screen shot from that 1969 Cowboys/Browns playoff game is from this short highlight video, which has several other views of the “CB” logo and lots of other fun stuff — recommended viewing:

(Bottomless thanks to Jim Pericotti for sharing this excellent discovery.)

Comments (28)

    Love this! Thanks for sharing this Jim! And thanks for the (as always) excellent write-up, Paul!

    “Did the Cowboys do this for every home game against the Browns during the late 1960s?”
    Negative for ’67 playoff game (but check out Dallas’ mid-field logo and other colorful field markings!):


    Looks like around the 0:50 mark that the opposite end zone in the Cotton Bowl from Paul’s original post was painted for the Browns.

    Should have clearer…NFL Shields, not the CB logo, appeared in endzone painted for the Browns.

    The Browns played in Dallas every year during the 1960s. (Dallas was a “swing team” in their first year, playing every other team in the league once, so the Browns matchup could have gone either way.) 1967 and 1969 were years with no regular-season trip for Cleveland to the Cotton Bowl, but they made playoff trips there both years.

    One was on Nov. 24, 1966, the very first time Dallas hosted a Thanksgiving Day game. Looks from YouTube that that one had “COWBOYS” in both end zones.

    The Cowboys, for all their faults as a franchise generally, were kind of cool in that they seemed to do the most of any team ever to acknowledge opponents on-field.

    The end zone thing continued into the Texas Stadium era (I recall shots of a 49ers-themed end zone for a playoff game against the Cowboys there once), and they used opposing-team goalpost wraps, even for regular season games if I recall correctly, into the 90s.

    Didn’t KC also made opponents feel ‘at-home’ with painted helmets/end zones?
    Not sure if they carried that practice over when they left Municipal Stadium.

    They may have at Municipal Stadium. That whole era was a little before my time. I think that might have gone away at Arrowhead, though. IIRC, Arrowhead was built with turf and I think the difficulties of making temporary early turf painting look good was part of what caused the trend to go into decline.

    Here’s a shot of Emmitt Smith walking past that Packers’ goalpost wrap after a touchdown. link

    Municipal Stadium had the same end zones every week, but at midfield the visitor’s and home helmets faced each other. They didn’t continue to do that at Arrowhead. Now that there’s grass there, they should go back to that.

    The Saints did more than the Cowboys. Until Tulane Stadium got turf, every week had home and visitors midfield logos and end zones.
    The Cowboys only did that for playoff games, at least in Irving. Along with the 49ers they also had a Vikings end zone once.

    Also the 49ers decorated an endzone for their visitors in the waning seasons of Kezar Stadium(late 60’s-70-thanks, YouTube!) plus the Saints also have also done so when they called Tulane Stadium home.
    A fun rabbit-hole!

    In the picture with the Texas Longhorns end zone design, does it look to anybody else like that end zone is more than ten yards deep? The geometrical center of the Longhorn logo is clearly set “above” where the geometrical center of the “CB” logo was and the end zone space just seems bigger to me relative to the players’ and referee’s bodies. I double-checked this wonderful resource on college football field sizing (link) but it appears that the ten-yard-deep end zone has been around for well over a century and was certainly the norm in 1969 and 1970.

    Obviously, it could just be an optical illusion but I’m very curious what others think!

    I guess it’s just an optical illusion! The end-zone depth looks very normal in this video: link. Instead, it’s just the Longhorn logo that looks oddly positioned (I guess it’s aligned to the top of the “TEXAS” wordmark”?). In the photograph, the back-of-the-end-zone line must just be at a tangent to the top-left corner of the photo. I still think the humans look smaller than they should but it’s clear that there was nothing goofy going on.

    The Cowboys for the longest time after moving to Texas Stadium, instead of having the end zone painted, the good old days of bad astro turf, they would have the visiting team represented on the goal post pad cover.

    You can see it here at the 2:20 mark.


    The schedule did the Cotton Bowl grounds crew some favors. Washington probably went with yellow paint for the end zone, followed by the Browns in orange, and Texas in burnt orange. That could have been a royal mess, and not because Darrell Royal was involved.

    Always great to find actual CBS Sports video from that era … with JACK Buck doing the play-by-play and Pat Summerall on color. Dribs and drabs eke out like 1967’s “Ice Bowl” in Green Bay …

    Thanks for the love, everyone!

    I’ve been trying to check other clips from this time frame. From what I found in 1967, the Cowboys did not decorate an opponent’s end zone until week 13 vs the Eagles and the Conference Championship vs Browns. Both had nickname sandwiched by the NFL shield.

    Between 1968-69, the Cowboys decorated opponents’ end zones for most home games with their names, colors and logos. When logos were used, there were out near the sides of the end zone, but unfortunately there aren’t always good visuals of that spot, especially if film only showed action between the hashmarks. So I haven’t yet found any good proof if the CB logo was used during 1968.

    The 1967 Browns-Saints game in Tulane Stadium did have an end zone decorated for the Browns, but the Brownie logo was used, not CB. In 1967 The Saints generally had their Fleur-de-Lis logo or helmet at the 40’s and various combinations of their shield or Sir Saint at the 50.

    The Browns played at San Francisco in 1968 and 1970, but their end zone had the Brownie logo and team name.

    Great find, great story as well but let’s keep this CB logo in the archives. I prefer no logo or Brownie the Elf for the current team.

    I’m 70 years old and a lifelong Browns fan. I agree with Ingmar above. Great find, great story, but return that logo to the archives. Frankly, my major issue with the “CB” logo is that it’s simply a bad design.

Comments are closed.