Obvious differences from the first day of practice under Jason Garrett:
The team wore full pads. Under Wade, they normally practiced in "shells" (helmets and shoulder pads, and wearing just shorts or sweat pants).
Everyone wore white helmets, except quarterbacks Jon Kitna and Stephen McGee, who wore the silver ones.
The work day began an hour earlier for the players. And there was a wipe board near the players' entrance to the complex that had the day's schedule written on it,.
Garrett stands for his press conferences. Wade Phillips and before him Bill Parcells sat for theirs.
The press conference began at 1:30 and ended at 1:45, at which time the locker room opened to the media for player interviews. Previously, the media interviewed players first, and the head coach after. And there wasn't a set length of time for the coach's press conference.
Those are all cosmetic changes. But there was also a change in the pace of practice. All the players we talked to after their first practice under Garrett said that it was high-tempo and high-energy. Without actually saying it, the players made it sound like Phillips' laid back approach carried over to practice. Garrett's practice sounded anything but laid back. That's the kind of change that might actually carry over to the games.
Other changes that would definitely have an effect on the games are personnel changes, but Garrett would not talk about that. We have to assume there will be some different people in the lineup on Sunday, based on what the starters have done to this point. We don't get to watch practice, so we couldn't see whether -- for example -- Tashard Choice was playing running back with the first-team offense. But Garrett did say the best players will play, regardless of whether they have been pro bowlers or were high draft picks. So we'll see.
At the end of the day, it really didn't matter what the Cowboys did today, as long as it was different. Sometimes change for the sake of change isn't a bad thing.