Everywhere Bill Parcells went, he always brought a few of "his guys" with him. This was no different when he came to Dallas - Drew Bledsoe, Vinny Testaverde, Terry Glenn, Keyshawn Johnson, Aaron Glenn and Richie Anderson to name a few, contributed over his short tenure. Parcells made a habit of "getting the band back together', so to speak, but also assembling young talent and depth around them. As the 2013 training camp opened this week, I can't help but look at the roster Jason Garrett has assembled and draw some similar conclusions. This is not to say that Garrett is on par with Parcells in terms of being a talent evaluator... he has a long ways to go to be included in that discussion, but Jason Garrett has done a good job of taking his core guys and surrounding them with young talent.
I'm going to break Garrett's "core" guys into two groups. Group 1 consists of holdover players that Garrett inherited, but remain major contributors to the roster. Group 2 is comprised of young players that Garrett drafted who have turned into key players.
Tony Romo, Jason Witten, Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, Doug Free (probably not by choice), Jay Ratliff, DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer, Jason Hatcher, Sean Lee, Barry Church, Orlando Scandrick, Danny McCray
It's a pretty impressive and surprisingly short list of players. I would place asterisks next to Anthony Spencer, Doug Free and Barry Church, as their days on the roster, I feel, are numbered The rest of the roster consists primarily of younger players Garrett drafted, mixed in with a few veteran free agents who were brought in. Brandon Carr, being the only one who has played significant role, and he did not come cheap. For the Cowboys to get where they want to, they're going to need some of those younger guys to take a spot in Group 2. The point I'm trying to make is, this season, more than any other, Jason Garrett controls his own fate. This is the roster he put together, and he will be held accountable for his team's success or failure.