Sep 16, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett and Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll shake hands after the game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Dallas Cowboys at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated Dallas 27-7. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Garrett And Pete Carroll: More In Common Than You Know


For most Cowboys fans, I imagine it was hard to watch the Super Bowl this past Sunday. Not only was the game one-sided, but seeing the Seahawks’ utter domination confirmed how far the Cowboys are from playing on the game’s biggest stage.

The Seahawks won with a stifling, #1 ranked defense.

The Cowboys rank 32nd in the league.

The Seahawks are in salary cap heaven, with a franchise quarterback that will only cost them $800,000 dollars next season and multiple contributors still playing on Rookie contracts.

The Cowboys are in salary cap hell, guaranteed to be pushing the cap limit for the forseeable future while still in dire need of help at multiple positions. But, hey, at least the kicker is signed for seven seasons!

Yes, fellow fans, the future looks dire.

If you want to look at things that way.

I would rather not. While the Seahawks can teach us lessons about the importance of cap and game management, they can also teach us important lessons about some of the more intangible traits it takes to succeed in the NFL. And if you recognize those, you might realize the Cowboys are closer to them than you think.

One of the best articles I read all year was on entitled Lotus Pose On Two by Alyssa Roenigk. The subtitle was: The Seahawks believe their kinder, gentler philosophy is the future of football.

While that might make you do a double-take after watching Denver run into the Hawks’ buzzsaw on Sunday, once you read the article you will realize Roenigk is talking about Seattle’s mental preperation, not their play.
In the article she details how the Seahawks are thinking out of the box in a league that has been dominated so long by the same, old school, mentality. Think Bear Bryant and Parcells chewing out their players for a simple mental mistake.

Pete Carroll decided to take a different approach in Seattle: “I wanted to find out if we went to the NFL and really took care of guys, really cared about each and every individual, what would happen?”

You see the Seahawks organization prides themselves in taking care of their most important asset: their players. They have a team psychologist that leads them in meditation. They eat locally sourced, organic meals. Players are encouraged to seek help when they are having a problem (physical or emotional), not to just “suck it up”.

According to Roenigk: “The big idea is that happy players make for better players. Everyone in the facility, from coaches and players to personal assistants and valets, is expected to follow Carroll’s mantras regarding positivity of thought, words and actions.”

And this is where we can find the Cowboys connection.

Garrett is similar to Carroll in his emphasis on positivity. During his opening speech of training camp, he told Cowboys players that a positive attitude is important because it is the only thing we can control in our lives. Just like Carroll, he seeks to  make his players better by making them happier.

Many fans hate this about Garrett. They can’t stand the clapping as players come of the field after settling for a field goal instead of a touchdown. They hate hearing about the good things that the team did after a tough loss.

What they don’t understand is that it’s part of Garrett’s system.

To him, staying positive isn’t a product of success. It is the reason for it.

Of course, Garrett’s method has yet to bear any results. Three seasons are down and no-one is satisfied with what the team has accomplished.

But I will continue to stand by his method. I think it is very similar to what Carroll is using up in Seattle. Pete might be getting better results, but he also inherited a much better situation.

Give Garrett time, I think his process will pay off in the end.

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Jason Garrett Pete Carroll

  • Earl Robertson

    Garrett first thing he needs to do is figure out what the heck is going on with these hamstrings that is the one injured that 99 percent of the time can be prevented

  • Chesney Blair

    He inherited a much better situation? Garett took over a play-off team that gave up on his coach. And stop making stupid excuses. Like the only reason why Seattle is successful is because of 800K qb. That is rubbish. Avril was our to sign and as was Bennett. We decided to stick with 30 year old Spencer and tag him again. Don’t get me started with Ratliff. These are personnel decisions and all related to JJ. Cheerleader JG won’t resolve any of the long term impact of such stupid moves. JJ DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO EVALUATE PLAYERS.

  • Chesney Blair

    This is what annoys me about the ginger minger. The photo. Look at his face shaking the hand of the guy who has just humiliated his team with pleasure. No emotion, no response, just a game. Good bye nut less wonder.

  • Get Real!

    Are you really comparing Garrett’s hand clapping to the Seahawks System that starts with who they draft, finding players that are good at certain skills to how they are coached, with positive reinforcement and allowing players to be themselves to how they are cared for with with meditation, sports psychologist, organic foods and heart monitors, etc. Get real!

  • John

    Nice piece. There’s one more thing these two coaches have in common. They’ll sit or cut you in a heartbeat if you aren’t getting it done and they believe they have a better option. That’s the edge behind all their positivity. Without that edge, they’re just Wade Phillips.

    • TheStarsareBrightDeepintheHear

      Dallas fans would do well to learn from the 12th man.

      • John

        Can’t argue with that… And Jerry’s stadium engineers could have learned a thing or two from Paul Allen’s…

        • TheStarsareBrightDeepintheHear

          Yes, I heard from a friend who has a buddy that works at CenturyLink. He said all of CenturyLink’s employees were flown to the Super Bowl to attend the game. Flight, hotel, tickets…all courtesy of Paul Allen as a gesture of appreciation for their work, whether it be changing light bulb, working the concession stand or sweeping up after a game. That’s a culture that unifies all persons involved. That is a wise investment and use of his money. Dallas has invested too much on just players, that;s for sure.

  • P.j. Doyle

    This title cracks me up.

  • TheStarsareBrightDeepintheHear

    Seattle coaches and players enjoy the support of the 12th man through thick and thin.

  • John

    I think by “inherited a better situation,” the writer is talking about the GMs, not the talent… Garrett has had some challenges during his rebuild that Carroll never had to overcome.