FRISCO - Jason Garrett wore two wristbands as a player. One on each wrist. Both were positioned so that the Cowboys logo was facing him. Some would call that superstitious.
Garrett says he wore them like that so the logo wouldn't get in the way when he was wiping sweat from his brow. He insists it was a "routine."
Whether it's the shirt he wears during the week of his pre-practice throwing session that always ends with one attempt at hitting the crossbar on the goalposts, the "routines" have continued.
So it was noticeable when the shirt recently changed.
After dropping to 3-5 last month following a 28-14 Monday night loss to the Titans, Garrett showed up to his news conference three days later wearing a different Cowboys shirt. Dallas has won all four games since and the new shirt has remained.
For several years, Garrett has worn some version of a blue long sleeve Nike crew neck T-shirt during the week. The new winning-streak shirt is similar, but it has a baggy neck and a hood on the back. The equipment staff provided Garrett with several, so he always has a clean one available.
And it turns out, the old crew neck is actually still in the mix. He just now wears it underneath.
Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott have also embraced their own shirt routine. Since the Tennessee loss, the team's starting quarterback and running back have been wearing white long-sleeve shirts under their uniforms - even when playing inside.
The night before the Nov. 11 game at Philadelphia, Elliott and Prescott discussed the need to switch things up.
"We got to get something going, we need some new juju or something," Elliott recalls saying. "So we were like, 'Man, let's wear long sleeves this game.' That was that Philly game and that was the start of this win streak, so I think hopefully you'll be seeing long sleeves through the rest of the season."
Prescott said they needed to "find some mojo or something." They figured it was going to be cold, so the long sleeves made sense.
"At this point," Prescott said. "I guess we're not allowed to take them off."
What exactly would Garrett call that?
"Superstition," Prescott said with a laugh, before quickly correcting himself. "A routine. That's what he'd call it. A routine."
No other Cowboys shared any superstitions connected with the winning streak, but several have their own interesting routines.
Antwaun Woods says he plays better when he drives to the games with Maliek Collins. Jourdan Lewis wears the same cleats every game. Byron Jones prefers to start his pregame warmup at roughly the same time before every kickoff. Anthony Brown and Jaylon Smith have to stand next to each other during the national anthem. Brown makes sure the Goofy plush keychain he got while he and his son visited Disney World is always on his book bag during the week. Zack Martin takes a 15-minute Epsom Salt bath every Wednesday when he gets home from practice.
The Eagles travel to AT&T Stadium on Sunday having won their last two games. They had a nine-game winning streak at one point last season. They then went on to win the first Super Bowl in franchise history.
So head coach Doug Pederson must have at least one superstition or routine.
"I try to have the same meal on a Thursday night for dinner," he said during a Thursday conference call. "A chopped salad, a steak and strawberry cheesecake.
"Medium rare-plus is the way I like [my steak]. Not quite medium, a little less than medium, but medium-rare plus. It's usually a bone-in filet."
Most in the NFL have something.
Jon Machota, Staff Writer, DMN