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April 02, 2012

Garrett doesn't mind signing players who have had to fight for their place in the NFL

Jason Garrett likes players who have had to work for what they have in the NFL.

Don’t misunderstand – he has no problem taking premier players.

But as the Cowboys coach talked last week about some of the free agents who have joined the team, it came up that offensive guard Nate Livings – who signed a five-year deal worth $19 million to join the Cowboys – was undrafted out of college.

“We don’t consciously go get guys who are free agents, but sometimes you like the path those guys have taken because they’ve earned it,” Garrett said at the NFL owners meetings last week.

Livings came into the NFL as an undrafted free agent. So did Miles Austin and Tony Romo, the two most notable examples of undrafted free agents on the Cowboys (and perhaps the NFL).

But they aren’t the only ones. Center Phil Costa, tackle Jeremy Parnell and safeties Barry Church and Danny McCray were undrafted free agents two years ago.

Last year, four undrafted rookies made the team –guard Kevin Kowalski, linebacker Alex Albright, kicker Dan Bailey and running back Phillip Tanner made the team.

Wide receiver Kevin Ogletree, re-signed by the Cowboys, was an undrafted out of Virginia in 2009.

“It’s unfair to say you want a team made up like that because there are a lot first-round picks who have those same qualities and traits,” Garrett said. “One thing I know about the NFL, in my years of playing and coaching, is there is going to be adversity. If you have the right kind of guys on your team, you’re going to be able to withstand that inevitable adversity that happens.”

The Cowboys’ free-agent signings this spring included three low-round picks.

Cornerback Brandon Carr, the top-dollar signee, was a fifth-round pick.

Guard Mackenzie Bernadeau was a seventh-round pick.

Fullback Lawrence Vickers was a sixth-rounder.

“Guys who come from those backgrounds, who have earned their way, have typically faced adversity,” Garrett said. “They have been rejected. They weren’t the No. 1 recruit, so they went to this school instead of that school that maybe they wanted to go to, or they weren’t the starter right away, so they worked their way up the depth chart. ... You like guys who have a little bit of history dealing with adversity, and hopefully that will reflect throughout your team.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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Comments

Finally on this topic (for me) who is or was a coach with "guts....." Jimmy Johnson? The guy that predicted the Boys would win with the BEST roster in football and home field advantage (shockingly, our fans actually cheered that game). If that is "guts" then Jason has more.

Actuall John Q, I''ve met Jason many times, his father and he is a very good and honorable man. Aside from Campo (who was screwed) he is the closest person to Landry's personality.

Jason is very intelligent, he lets his assistant's coach (it was Decamillis who told him to take the time out in Arizona and he took the bullet for it.).

Why doesn't Jason have what you say 'balls?" Is it because it doesn't run around like a LOSER Bill Cowher and scream "Let's Go" at people" and take over 15 years to win a Super Bowl? The same guy who had Kordell for YEARS has his QB? Is it because he doesn't jump around and cheer for extra points like Pilsbury Wade?

Actually he is doing some of those things right now, hey...Jason can only coach and do what he can do. True I am not down with every decision and especially with what has happened to J. Holley.

Next I'll hear people tell me how great Andy Reid is! Want to check out a wretched draft record, check him out.

Sorry, I like Jason alot and the last thing we need is a big mouth, rah-rah coach. I like Jason, support Jason and really don't listen to too many people scraming about him, people those same people never would have given Coach Landry time. Especially the clowns that write for the Star Telegram...their worse than ambulance chasers.

We disagree!

@Blue Truth: The only problem with this philosophy is we haven't got a head coach with the balls to do his job.

This the kind of philosophy the Cowboys have needed for years!

Well I have to say this is good thinkng. Can't argue with the logic. Can't say it'll always translate into success but it makes sense.

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