Jason Garrett's motivation for the 6-7 Cowboys? A 'highlight reel' with big plays from 2018


The Dallas Cowboys are in the division lead by virtue of playing in the NFC East. A 6-7 record in any other division wouldn’t cut it.

To inspire this squad, which is currently on a three-game losing skid, head coach Jason Garrett, who is close to losing his job, showed a “highlight reel” of the team’s plays, including two key ones from 2018. The Cowboys host the Los Angeles Rams (8-5) on Sunday afternoon.

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The Cowboys are tied with the Philadelphia Eagles for the NFC East lead and winning out will secure a playoff berth. That seems like it might be enough to motivate a squad in the final three games. But this has been done in Dallas before, with Garrett showing the team highlights following their earlier three-game losing skid this year, per ESPN. They responded with a 37-20 win against the Eagles that gave them the late-season tiebreaker. If it worked once ...

“You’re always trying to reinforce what’s right, doing it the right way,” Garrett said, via USA Today Sports. “The best examples are the ones of your own players doing it the right way. And then you’re also saying: ‘This is the wrong way. This is the difference between those two things.’ ”

Garrett showed last season’s goal-line tackle by Jaylon Smith, Xavier Woods and Jeff Heath of Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson as a shining defensive moment. (But Dallas lost, 19-16 in overtime.)

The shared highlight for the offense was Dak Prescott’s 16-yard run just before the two-minute warning of the 2018 wild-card game against the Seattle Seahawks. The Cowboys scored a touchdown to move on with a 24-22 victory led by the defense.

In comments to the media, the players seem to be on board with the hype-up angle. Tight end Jason Witten called the reel a reminder that “this is how we play.” He said, via ESPN:

“A lot of that is like, whether you know football or not, look at these guys and how they're playing. It was a good reminder to start the week with 'this is who we are.'"

And La’el Collins, via USA Today Sports:

“It's just putting it all together so that you see what it looks like when we do it the right way."

The Cowboys lost to the Rams, 30-22, in the NFC divisional round last season. Los Angeles eclipsed 200 rushing yard within minutes of the second half and finished with 273 total, averaging 5.7 per carry. Now both teams are scraping just to get back into the postseason.

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - NOVEMBER 24: Head coach Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys gestures before the game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on November 24, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
Jason Garrett broke out highlights for the Cowboys to be inspired during their hunt for the playoffs. (Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

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