Critics – and even some Cowboys fans – take umbrage with Jason Garrett as merely a robot that repeatedly, annoyingly in press conferences relies on his football crutch words like “process” and “challenge” and “all three phases.”
As I’ve said before, I’ve known Garrett since he was Troy Aikman’s backup in the mid-90s. Away from the cameras, he’s funny and outgoing and …I’ve never seen him like this. And neither have you.
But you should.
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The Cowboys’ head coach returned to his alma mater over Memorial Day Weekend to receive Princeton’s Citizen-Athlete Award from the school’s Varsity Club. Wearing his “Class of ‘89” jacket, Garrett captivated his audience with a riveting 23-minute speech highlighted by laughs, tears and, yep, leadership.
Some of the highlights:
*On leadership: “If you’re in a leadership role, lead. Embrace the mantle of leadership. My job with the Dallas Cowboys is to lead. I’m in charge of the message. I’m in charge of when we’re practicing. I’m the guy that everyone is looking to for direction. Lead. It’s Line One.”
*On goals: “We get so caught up in this atmosphere of excellence and achievement and what the finish line is. Life is about the run. Run. Don’t worry about the finish line. Don’t worry about the results. Don’t worry about the scoreboard. Don’t worry about the record. If you have relentless pursuit of excellence in everything you do, and you just run, all of that stuff is going to take care of itself.”
*On life: “Find out what the strawberries are in your life, and then devour them.”
I’ve gently chided Garrett to open up more to the fans – through the media – but have always been stiff-armed because he wants first and foremost a consistent message delivered by a calm, cool messenger.
Gotta believe Garrett speaks to his players behind closed locker room doors like he spoke to the Princeton crowd. No wonder they’re responding to his words.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.