OXNARD, California — "This is a hard room to get into; really hard," Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett bellows in a room full of football players, coaches, and Cowboys staffers.
Garrett let SportsIllustrated.com record his camp-opening player address, offering a rare peek behind the scenes.
"Life is about creating opportunities and taking advantage of opportunity, and we got a great one in front of us," Garrett tells the group.
The video appeared on the website Monday. Although Garrett knew the cameras were rolling, his performance was not unfiltered.
At his daily news conference in Oxnard Monday, Garrett talked about his mission with the speech to the team.
"I think it's the number-one aspect of my job," he said. "What you try to do as a leader of any organization is provide perspective inspiration, motivation... create a vision of our football team."
The head coach also making this impassioned plea: "We want guys who are leaders…leaders," he told the group, his voice rising. "Lead this football team. Lead it! It's time! It's time to lead the football team. It's time it's your time!"
Garrett said he thinks there's a band of leaders on this team, but it is obvious he wants more.
That's not the case, though when it comes to the messages he wants his players sharing with the media and fans.
"You're a member of the Dallas Cowboys. Your obligation is to the people in this room not to answer some guy's question," Garrett told his players at the meeting, "Respectful, brief, boring, and humble... I think those are good things to think about."
If you're wondering why someone who preaches being guarded with the media would let his comments be recorded, remember this is the Cowboys, and that means the head coach rarely has the final say.
"We talk a lot about organizational decisions with the Cowboys," said Garrett. "So it it certainly wasn't my decision by itself; it was a collective decision."
"Collective" is "Cowboy-speak" meaning the owner, Jerry Jones.