Opinion: If NFL helmet rule change does come into effect, bring back these 10 throwback looks

The NFL has opened the door to changing its rule that prohibits teams from wearing different helmet colors.

"There are ongoing discussions for a potential change for the 2021 season, but no decisions have been made," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told ESPN.

The current rule went into place in 2013 in an effort to maximize player health and safety, with the league saying "teams may continue to wear throwback uniforms under league guidelines, but players must wear their regular helmets. The outside of the helmet can be modified by removing or replacing decals, as long as it does not affect the integrity of the helmet."

For uniform aficionados, this was an unwelcome development.

Should the NFL reverse course, here are 10 teams that should wear throwback uniforms featuring different colored helmets.

10. New York Jets – 1980s-era uniforms

Ken O'Brien fires a pass during a game against the Houston Oilers in 1988. (Photo: Rick Stewart, Getty Images)

The Jets changed their uniforms ahead of the 2019 season. What the team should do is turn the clock back to the 1980s, when Ken O'Brien and the New York Sack Exchange were sporting the team's Kelly green helmets with white facemasks.

9. Dallas Cowboys – Original white helmets

DeMarco Murray dons the Cowboys' throwback uniforms in a 2011 game against the Dolphins. (Photo: Jose Yau, AP)

Dallas might be the only team on this list with a modern uniform change for the better. Still, the Cowboys' expansion-era white helmets with the blue star is a great way to switch up their look.

8. Seattle Seahawks – Original silver helmets

Steve Largent played 14 seasons for the Seahawks. (Photo: STR, Associated Press)

The team's silver helmets, blue jerseys, silver pants of the Steve Largent era is an underrated uniform in the pantheon of NFL throwbacks. Do the right thing, Seahawks. Even your quarterback is on board.

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This is a MUST 🔥🔥🔥 @Seahawks fans around the 🌎 would love. #JustDoIt #Throwbacks

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7. Atlanta Falcons – Original uniforms

The Falcons sport throwback uniforms for a 2011 game against the Panthers. (Photo: Kevin Liles, US PRESSWIRE)

Between 2009-2012, before the NFL put the kibosh on such things, the Falcons busted out their original red helmet-black jersey look. It's a decidedly better uniform than the team's regular hideous getups that it first unveiled in 2003.

6. Los Angeles Chargers – Air Coryell-era uniforms

Dan Fouts drops back to pass during a game in 1983 at Jack Murphy Stadium. (Photo: Tony Duffy, Getty Images)

The powder blues get all the love, but let's consider a different throwback for the Chargers. While a throwback to the team's lone Super Bowl season of 1994 would be swell, the Air Coryell uniforms are an underrated look in the Chargers' colorful history.

5. Buffalo Bills – Late-1980s-1990s era uniforms

Andre Reed (83) and Keith McKeller celebrate during the Bills' dramatic comeback against the Houston Oilers in the 1992 AFC wild-card playoff game. (Photo: BILL SIKES, Associated Press)

The Bills started wearing red helmets back in 1984, but it wasn't until a roster loaded with future Hall of Famers made the look famous by reaching four consecutive Super Bowls from 1990-93.

4. Denver Broncos – Crazy horse and "D" helmets 

John Elway in the "crazy horse" helmet during the 1994 season and the "D" helmet in 1996. (Photo: AP)

The Broncos' current uniforms are among the NFL's worst-ever. Due to that, we suggest they throw it back to two of their former looks. First, the John Elway-era blue helmets and orange jerseys – among the best NFL uniforms ever – and the crazy horse helmets that the team sported from 1962-66. 

3. Philadelphia Eagles – Kelly green

Ron Jaworski talks with Eagles head coach Dick Vermei during a game in 1981. (Photo: Associated Press)

Whether you're looking at the Ron Jaworski/Super Bowl XV-era getups or the Randall Cunningham late-80s/early-90s look, it's a decided improvement from the Eagles' current drab uniforms.

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Bucco Bruce creamsicles

Josh Freeman scrambles during a game against the Saints in 2012. (Photo: Matt Stamey, US PRESSWIRE)

Seriously, don't you want to see Tom Brady wearing the creamsicles?

1. New England Patriots – Pat the Patriot

Tom Brady throws a pass against the Jets during game in 2012. (Photo: Bob DeChiara, US PRESSWIRE)

The longer the Patriots insist on continuing to wear the "Flying Elvis" uniforms, the more appealing the hiking Continental Army man gets. 

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