(Photos courtesy of the Dallas Cowboys)
Talk of Fame Network
Jason Garrett sat behind Troy Aikman on two of the Cowboys’ three Super Bowl teams in the 1990's, so the Dallas head coach has a good idea what it takes to reach the top of the NFL. And what he learned in his stay with the Cowboys then he’s putting in play with a club that last year won the NFC East and only its second playoff game in 18 years.
“I’m not one to make comparisons,” Garrett said on the latest Talk of Fame broadcast, “and certainly don’t want to make comparisons with a team that won three Super Bowls in four years. But I was a part of those teams and was influenced significantly by those teams."
“So much of why those teams were so good was how they played and the makeup of those rosters. Having a big, strong physical offensive line where you can run the football, having playmakers outside; having a quarterback who plays at a high level; having a defense that can really run, make plays and take the ball away … those are all models that I live with, and we had a lot of success here during that time."
“You can never really recreate another team based on an earlier team, but I do think you can learn from the experiences you’ve had. One of the things we’ve tried to do is reconstruct our offensive line over the last four years. We’ve allocated a lot of resources to that position, and I think it’s had a really positive impact – not only on the other players on offense but throughout our team.”
The hallmark of the great Cowboys’ teams of the 1990's was a trio of Hall-of-Fame playmakers on offense, an incomparable offensive line and a fast, aggressive and opportune defense. Last year’s Cowboys tilted in that direction, with the league’s leading rusher, its leading passer, its best offensive line, one of its top wide receivers and a defense that, while ranked 19th, was vastly improved over its 2013 predecessor.
The similarities are too close to ignore.
“There’s a certain style we want to play with,” said Garrett. “There’s a relentless nature we want to play with – all of those things that are successful, not only for those teams from the '90's; but for most successful teams in this league throughout history – (and) that’s the style of play we want the Dallas Cowboys to have. It’s a work in progress every day. We’re always try to build that kind of identity, but it’s a fun process to be part of.”