OXNARD, Calif. -- Jason Garrett does not wear a GPS device at practice, but the Dallas Cowboys head coach has been tilting more to the defensive side of the ball during training camp.
Having given up the play-calling duties this year, Garrett has been spending more time evaluating the defense and special teams than he did in his first two years as the head coach. He is even taking some quarterback snaps in walk-throughs.
He has become that walk-around head coach Jimmy Johnson urged him to be after taking the job.
Players at every position group have noticed when the coach is around, too. He will offer the finer points to wide receivers on using their hands to get away from defenders, and to defensive backs on what a quarterback is looking for.
“I’ve always tried to be on every part of the practice field through every practice,” Garrett said. “Typically in the past it had been in the individual periods I was over with the defense, and then as we got more to the team period I was more involved with the offense. … I am throwing some more drills on defense and what that allows you to do as a coach is get an up close and personal evaluation of the guys in your huddle and the guys you’re going against.
"If you’re trying to execute ball plays, when you’re around the players in a close setting, you get a feel for what they’re all about, the look in their eye, how they respond, if they look confused, if they’re on top of it. It’s been a real good thing for me in terms of providing a little different perspective for evaluations of the guys.”