These Cowboys are truly Jason Garrett's team

March, 22, 2013
3/22/13
8:31
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When the Cowboys begin the 2013 season, Jason Garrett will see more of the players he's seen drafted under him than when Wade Phillips was the coach.

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There are only six players remaining on the active roster from the Wade Phillips era, 2007 to 2010, and that number could decrease if the team releases starting right tackle Doug Free this summer.

The Cowboys, as of now, are electing to have two former first-round picks, Felix Jones and Mike Jenkins from the 2008 draft, go without fetching another contract from the team.

Garrett was the offensive coordinator in Phillips' last season, 2010, in which the Cowboys drafted wide receiver Dez Bryant with a first-round pick.

But in the last two drafts, the Cowboys have developed four starters, including two from the Top 10 of the draft in left tackle Tyron Smith and cornerback Morris Claiborne.

Jerry Jones didn't spend big money in free agency on any single player under Phillips like he did for Garrett when the team signed cornerback Brandon Carr to a five-year $50.1 million contract last season.

Yes, there are a core group of drafted players from the Bill Parcells years such as Jason Witten, DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher, but it seems the Cowboys can't get rid of the players drafted under Phillips fast enough.

Garrett said he feels like this current group of players are his guys.

"Absolutely. That’s why this draft is so critical," Garrett said earlier this week from the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix. "You want to be able to continue to add to the culture we’ve developed the last couple years, and a lot of the culture has to do with who you are as a head coach, who your staff is and what they represent. But a lot of it has to do with the people you bring in, the players you bring in, and what they’re all about. We’ve tried to do a really good job of that. We feel good about how we’ve drafted, how we’ve kind of structured our football team, and the kinds of people we’re bringing in."
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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