National Football League
Cowboys defeat 'blue jersey curse' with playoff victory over Buccanneers
National Football League

Cowboys defeat 'blue jersey curse' with playoff victory over Buccanneers

Updated Jan. 17, 2023 1:16 a.m. ET

The Dallas Cowboys erased multiple trends of futility with their 31-14 win Monday night over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to close out Super Wild Card Weekend. Not only did the victory mark the Cowboys' first playoff road win in over 30 years, it also marked just their second playoff win in franchise history while wearing their blue jerseys.

Tom Brady & Co. wore white jerseys in Monday's matchup instead of their usual home red — forcing the Cowboys to wear their navy blue alternates, an apparent attempt 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. Monday marked just the eighth playoff game ever where the Cowboys wore that jersey color, and Dallas is now 2-6 in those games. Their only other win came in the 1978 NFC Championship Game, when Roger Staubach led the Cowboys to a 28-0 victory over the Los Angeles Rams


Dallas rarely opts to wear blue jerseys as the home team, a practice that started back in the 1960s due to original Cowboys 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."

Monday also marked the Cowboys' first-ever playoff victory while wearing their blue uniforms since switching to a navy color scheme in 1981. They were previously 0-3, with losses in the 1982 NFC title game against Washington and in 1996 and 2003 against Carolina.

If recent trends are any clue, however, the Cowboys' blue-jersey luck may be changing. Dallas is now 9-2 overall when wearing those navy jerseys over the past two seasons.

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