Jason Garrett might be a first-year head coach, but he’s steeped in his NFL history, at least recent history.
The Dallas Cowboys coach dropped a lesson on his players the last time he spoke to them, well before the NFL’s lockout put an end to business.
In his message, Garrett explained to them that in the last two work stoppages in the NFL the Washington Redskins eventually won Lombardi Trophies. In shortened 1982 and 1987 seasons, Joe Gibbs’ teams triumphed. Garrett pointed out how the players worked out together and remained prepared.
“That reflected in their play on the field,” Garrett said at a coaches' clinic at the University of Tennessee, according to Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News.
It’s important to note those work stoppages took out parts of the regular season. In 1982, half of the season was lost. In 1987, one game was lost and three were played using replacement players. Comparing those situations to the current one, at least right now, is apples to oranges. This is the time of year when players would just be easing into (voluntary) offseason workout programs. We’re not talking about missing hard-core football work right now. Sure, the work is important, but it’s also overkill to a degree.
If the doors remain locked in August, then valid comparisons can be made. Right now, teammates don't need to be working out side-by-side in order to remain in shape.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune