If it is possible for “America’s Team” to fly under the radar, I would say that is the case this offseason with the Dallas Cowboys. After a tough season in 2010 that saw the Cowboys lose their starting quarterback to a shoulder injury, they have had a quiet offseason. Yet they also looked primed to make their way back towards the top of the NFC East. It’s all about Tony Romo though.
Romo is heading into his sixth season as the Cowboys signal caller and has a lot to prove coming off an injury. If he can stay healthy and takes the next step as a quarterback the Cowboys have a legitimate chance to be a “surprise” team in 2011. With the Eagles coming off an excellent year and after their tremendous offseason that saw them add to their already impressive roster, Dallas has been flying under the radar. That might be exactly what the Cowboys need.
Jason Garrett joined KTCK in Dallas with the Musers to talk about how the first preseason game being Thursday and how he feels about his team going into that game, how this offseason has been for him as a first year full-time head coach, what he thinks of Rob Ryan’s comments about the Eagles, and how Tony Romo has grown as a leader.
How he feels with the first preseason game right around the corner:
“I guess we’re ready to start playing a preseason schedule. We’re a long way off in general but we really like how our players have worked through the first portion of training camp. Yesterday was a good day. It was a chance to see our team in maybe a little more competitive of a situation. Then we got a chance to see our younger guys in a scrimmage setting where we are tackling and playing close to real football. It was fun to get a chance to do that. It will be a quick week for us and we will be playing Thursday night so I think everybody is excited and pointing towards that.”
On his first offseason as a full-time head coach:
“It’s fun. It’s fun. It’s been a different offseason for all of us around the league. It’s fun to get back to work and get playing football again. The structure of things is a little different than I think any of us around the league are used to but our players are diving in, it’s fun to have the staff that we’re putting together and see them work with our players. Everything is really condensed in training camp. You’re putting a lot of information in and asking the player to go out on the field and execute it. Often times it’s a little ugly but over time hopefully it all smoothes out, we start executing better, and hopefully we’re along that road right now and making some progress.”
On Rob Ryan’s comments about the Eagles:
“Rob is a guy who is a very engaging person and an engaging coach. If you have a chance to be around him as a coach or a player I think it’s very easy to see how people respond very favorably to him. He has a track record for success both as a position coach and a coordinator and I think as much as anything else his players have really responded to him, they like to play for him. Those were the things that we were attracted to. He’s a confident guy and one of the things that we want our players to be, or coaches to be, and ultimately want our team to be is confident. He’s trying to take us down that road right now. It’s very early for everybody, we’re trying to lay the foundation for the football team, but we’re working hard and I think Rob has done a great job. I think our defensive guys have responded well to him in this very different type of training camp. Typically we have some time with our guys in the offseason where we can lay the foundation there. We’re having to do things more quickly in all areas of our football team but particularly on defense where it’s a new system. I think everyone has responded well to him.”
On Tony Romo’s leadership:
“I’ve seen Tony continue to grow and grow and grow as a player and a leader. That’s happened over the course of the last four and a half years. He’s very committed to being the best he can be and committed to helping our team be the best they can be and it was a different offseason for everybody and there were some offseason workouts and Tony as one of the leaders of our team clearly led those workouts. We have another group of players, guys who have been around and been the better players on our team, who were certainly a part of that leadership as well. As the quarterback and one of the better players on our team Tony was at the forefront of that and everybody seemed to respond well to him and that’s probably carried into training camp. It’s been a process that he’s gone through over the last four and a half years since we have been here as a staff. I’ve seen him grow in all areas and he’s very committed to getting better in all areas of his game.”