If there was any doubt that Cowboys’ head coach Jason Garrett believes in creating a culture of competition, where seemingly no position can be taken for granted, it was likely quashed during this preseason.
You need look no further than the offensive line for evidence of this: Five-time Pro Bowl center Andre Gurode was cut in favor of generally untested second-year guy Phil Costa, because, according to Jerry Jones, Costa won the job fair and square. Bill Nagy, a rookie and seventh round pick, will start the season at left guard, over third round pick David Arkin and recently cut veteran Montrae Holland.
It appears now, at least, that we’re seeing an atmosphere of constant competition, in which performance in practice, and not draft status or reputation, is the chief determining factor in who starts and who makes the team.
"We believe that if we create a competitive situation, that's going to benefit everybody," Garrett said, per the Dallas Morning News. "There's a natural complacency that sets in with everybody on our football team, on football teams around this league, sitting in this room, in everyday life. When there's competition, you've got to step up to it. You've got to earn your job. And you hope to get your football team to a point where you have guys who can compete for spots and bring out the best in each and everybody along the way."
One player who’s taken Garrett’s message to heart is Tashard Choice, whose roster spot was all but guaranteed after a knee injury kept him out for most of training camp, and all but one preseason game. Choice did end up making the cut, and will split carries with starter Felix Jones, and rookies Phillips Tanner and DeMarco Murray--a scenario that Choice sees as a continuation of the competitive nature of Garrett’s first training camp as a head coach.
"I'm never comfortable," Choice said. "I'm not taking nothing for granted."
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