Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Dallas Cowboys [Print without images]

Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Jason Garrett top motivator in NFC East

By Todd Archer

IRVING, Texas -- Over on the NFC East blog, Dan Graziano called Jason Garrett the NFC East’s best motivator in ranking the four head coaches.

Graziano gave Garrett the award for how the Cowboys finished the year after taking over at midstream. The Cowboys went 5-3 with Garrett as head coach and had a chance to win all three of the losses, which were by a combined seven points.

Garrett wasn’t big with pre-game speeches or motivational objects, like Bill Parcells’ gas can in front of a player’s locker. The biggest psychological ploy was to have the players in pads on Wednesdays. Mostly he just laid out to the team what needed to be done during the week in order to be ready to “win on Sunday at 4:15 in the Meadowlands,” if you remember his introductory press conference. I believe he also benefitted from the players’ realization that they would be the next to go once Phillips was fired.

Because Garrett played not too long ago he can draw on some of those experiences. Because he won Super Bowl rings, he can draw on those experiences. He is willing to listen and learn from others, too, like heading over to Duke to meet with basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski in the winter.

This season Garrett will have more of a chance to put his stamp on the team with how he wants things done. With the lockout he has been unable to implement much of his plan, but those eight games last season gave the players a look at how life will be with Garrett in command.