IRVING, Texas -- Maybe Jason Garrett is more like Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll than we know.
The Dallas Cowboys' coach doesn’t chew gum like Carroll. He’s not as rambunctious on the sidelines as Carroll. He doesn’t count Macklemore as one of his buddies.
But in searching through the Seahawks’ media notes, I came across a section dedicated to Carroll’s beliefs:
Philosophy: It’s all about the ball -- “You win by taking care of the football,” Carroll said.
Central theme: Competition -- “Practice is everything, it’s where we make us,” Carroll said.
Team rules: Always protect the team; no whining, no complaining, no excuses; be early
Style: Great effort, great enthusiasm, great toughness, and play smart
It’s not exactly new stuff. Every coach at every level says these things, right?
But Garrett has a sign in the team meeting room that reads, “The ball, the ball, the ball,” stressing the importance of the turnover ratio.
Garrett did not let players like Morris Claiborne, Bruce Carter, Mackenzy Bernadeau or Gavin Escobar slide in practice. There seemed to be real accountability around Valley Ranch in 2013, if not enough good players.
Another sign near the locker room reads, “It is a privilege, not a right, to play and coach for the Dallas Cowboys.”
How many times has Garrett mentioned passion, emotion, enthusiasm since taking over?
We sometimes mistake the Garrett who addresses the media as the Garrett who addresses the team. We saw a glimpse into what he is really like during his introductory meeting with the players at training camp last summer. Players talk about his motivational tactics all the time.
So Garrett doesn’t have to start chewing gum and prowl the sidelines looking to give the next high five or even play music in practice -- we made fun of Wade Phillips when he did it, remember? It was a lack of discipline then.
You are who you are. If Garrett changed publicly, it would be phony.
What Garrett is trying to sell is what Carroll has sold.