Jason Garrett: Have to earn it

Updated: August 24, 2011, 3:21 PM ET
By Todd Archer | ESPNDallas.com

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Jason Garrett has attempted to connect the Dallas Cowboys to their gloried history during training camp, but reacting to one of his player's comments, he said he does not want the team living in the past.

After Sunday's preseason loss to San Diego, Bradie James told Foxsports.com that a sense of entitlement has hurt the team recently.

"Our alumni, our former greats have made us America's Team and we reap benefits that we haven't earned -- all the way around, as individuals, as a team," James said. "Those guys earned it. We just think we deserve it."

When asked Wednesday if he agreed with what James said, Garrett deferred.

"I don't want to get too much into that comment other than to say that it's important that everyone understands you have to earn it in this league," Garrett said. "You have to earn your opportunity to make a football team, to have a role on a football team and be a starter on a football team. And as a group you have to earn the wins each and every week.

"It's hard. The NFL is hard. It's difficult. That's what makes it great and our players understand that. You have to earn it in training camp and you have to earn it on Sunday afternoon. That's what we're trying to do right now regardless of what's happened in the past."

The Cowboys welcomed roughly 50 players to a practice last week and had a dinner at which Garrett spoke to the current and former players. He has added pictures outside the team's locker room of the franchise's five Super Bowl victories. Two former players, Leon Lett and Kevin Mathis, have helped coach during training camp, and Larry Allen and Mike Myers have been on hand at different times to help the players.

Todd Archer covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter