Over the past year or so I have periodically taken a look at Jason Garrett and the type of player that he terms "The Right Kind of Guy" and I used that philosophy for a series of posts entitled The Way Of The Rooster. One key trait that I focused on was how Garrett, the player, always worked hard to develop an edge that would help to offset the limitations imposed by his own abilities. Key in that was the intensity that Jason brought to his off-the-field preparation. He always focused hard on doing his "homework".
Jason Garrett was never the most talented guy on the football field, but he always made damned sure he was one of the most prepared. During his career, the red-headed one studied film with the intensity and dedication of aand always looked for any advantage he could possibly get.
Not only did Garrett exemplify this trait as a player, it is something that he also looks for in the guys who now play for him. Both of his key leaders on the playing field, middle linebacker Sean Lee and quarterback Tony Romo, are highly respected by their teammates for the Garrett-esque efforts that they put in off the field. It is the unseen effort that really underlies the success that each man has experienced. As I stated in the opening post of this series:
He also knows that the mental aspects of the game are equally important, so he devotes himself to the tireless study of film. He knows the strengths and weaknesses of both his team and his opponent. The right kind of guy is mentally read to meet the challenge.
Although his playing days are long since over, and now extended time in film study is a major part of his job description, Jason Garrett is still devoting a significant portion of his time to studies outside of what one might normally expect. While much has been made of the fact that Garrett has been seen at various sporting events with his quarterback, and with many so-called experts questioning the wisdom of the two men socializing together away from the game, it has now been made public that these events are as much a business undertaking as they are a social occasion.
Jason Garrett watches sporting events in a different way than folks like you and I. While this is not uncommon for coaches, the Cowboys coach does not simply look at the game as a matter of X's and O's; when he watches, say a Mike Krzyzewski, Garrett is actually studying the game from a leadership perspective. In this way he is seeking to better himself as a head coach, much the same as he did when he studied other quarterbacks when he was a back-up NFL quarterback. Jason Garrett is trying to gain an edge on his competition.
"He’s always trying to go out there and learn something, it’s a great attribute he has. He’s fantastic in 99 areas and he wants that one more that can allow him to be even better at his craft. He’s already really, really good. It’s just a testament to his attitude and approach toward it." - Tony Romo
While Garrett may have his critics, and while he may or may not ultimately experience the success he is striving for in Dallas, one thing is clear; the current head coach of the Dallas Cowboys is still putting in the kind of time that is needed to improve himself. Even though he may have ascended to the helm of the most popular team in professional football, the Rooster realizes that this is not enough. He must work hard each day to keep improving if he wants to remain in his position, and Jason Garrett is committed to doing just that. If he fails, it will not be for the lack of effort.