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Cursed? Cowboys to wear blue jerseys in wild-card matchup vs. Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are underdogs heading into their wild-card matchup with the Dallas Cowboys (who are currently favored by -2.5 at FOX Bet), and the Bucs are pulling out all the stops to gain an edge.

Tom Brady & Co. will wear white jerseys in Monday’s matchup instead of their usual home red — forcing the Cowboys to wear their navy blue alternates.

Yes, the Bucs are trying to invoke the Cowboys’ long-held “blue jersey curse.”

The Cowboys have an infamous record of futility in their blue jerseys — especially in the playoffs — that goes back several decades. They rarely opt to wear blue jerseys as the home team, a practice that started back in the 1960s due to original general manager Tex Schramm’s desire to have fans see visiting teams’ different uniforms, according to FOX Sports Cowboys insider David Helman.

But the blue jerseys became much more of a taboo sometime in the 1970s or early 1980s. There are conflicting reports as to what led to the blue jerseys being regarded as cursed. One explanation is that Tom Landry’s Cowboys lost the Super Bowl in 1971 while wearing blue jerseys, then won the next year wearing white. Another stems from their loss to the archrival Philadelphia Eagles in the 1980 NFC Championship Game, after which the Cowboys ditched their royal blue jerseys for their current navy look.

Former longtime Cowboys executive Gil Brandt, however, claims that the “jinx” comes from an early 1976 game against the then-St. Louis Cardinals, who were an NFC East rival with the Cowboys at that point. The home Cardinals wore white — forcing the Cowboys to wear blue — and handed Dallas its first loss of the season.

“So then that started it,” Brandt told the Associated Press in 2019. “And on occasion, we had everybody wanting us to wear blue jerseys on the road.”

Whatever the case, the Cowboys have only worn blue jerseys seven times in the playoffs over the course of their franchise history — and are 1-6 in those games. Their only win came in the 1978 NFC Championship Game, when Roger Staubach led the Cowboys to a 28-0 victory over the Los Angeles Rams. 

The Cowboys are 0-3 while wearing their blue uniforms in the playoffs since switching to a navy color scheme in 1981. Those losses include the 1982 NFC title game against Washington and in 1996 and 2003 against Carolina.

But the Buccaneers might not have needed any added motivation to wear their white jerseys in the playoffs. Brady has a long track record of playoff success in white jerseys, including six of his seven Super Bowl wins. The Bucs wore white as the road team throughout their run to a Super Bowl title in 2020 and then opted to wear white during both of their playoff home games last season, a win over the Eagles in the wild-card round and a loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Rams in the divisional round.

If recent trends are any clue, however, the Cowboys’ blue-jersey luck may be changing. Dallas is 8-2 when wearing their navy shirts over the past two seasons. But those two losses include last week’s deflating performance against the Commanders in Washington and the opening game of the 2021 season — which was also against the Bucs in Tampa.

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