Jason Garrett spent seven seasons in Dallas as a player and the past 13 years as a Cowboys coach, the last decade as head coach.
Now the New York Giants offensive coordinator, Garrett said his focus is on preparing his new team to face his old flame on Sunday, not on any personal emotion involved.
"The biggest thing we're all focused on is what we can do to help the New York Giants play as well as we can play and that's what we're focused on as players, coaches," Garrett said Thursday. "Many people around the league, you have history in another place, you know people on other teams. I obviously spent a lot of time in Dallas. I was very grateful for my experience there, all the players I was fortunate to coach and the guys I was fortunate to coach with, everyone in that organization, and really the people of Dallas. They were amazing to me. It was a great time in my life. I'm forever appreciative of that, forever grateful of that. But I'm excited about the opportunity and trying to help this team get better."
While Garrett attempts to keep his emotions in check, the Giants are no doubt trying to milk the former Cowboys coach on any intel he might have on his former players. While he might not be able to add anything scheme-wise that Mike McCarthy and Mike Nolan brought to Dallas that can't be gleaned off tape, Garrett could provide insight into what players do or do not do best. Surely, he knows some weaknesses his staff attempted to cover over that could prove useful Sunday. Or perhaps he knows a tendency of offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, who worked under Garrett.
"If there's a resource in the building, you certainly want to take advantage of it," Garrett noted.
While Garrett gets peppered with questions about his former team, his bigger concern should be his own offense, which resembles a bland cocktail of whole milk and creamer, with nary a hint of heat or spice. The Giants haven't scored a touchdown in two weeks and rank dead-last in the NFL with 47 total points in four games.
On the plus side, Garrett's offense faces the NFL's most putrid defense through four weeks Sunday in Dallas.
Unfortunately, the NFL's worst offense trying to break through the league's worst defense could turn out like a Kleenex doing battle against a crêpe-paper blockade. For the viewing public, let's hope the division rivals bring out the best in each other.