IRVING, Texas – Head coach Jason Garrett wanted to let his players know they should never hesitate to contact someone in the Cowboys organization if there’s anything they’re having trouble with personally.
Some players were more directly affected by the deaths of former Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend than others, but Garrett had the same message to all of his players.
“If you ever have anything that’s going on in your life, anything, anything at all, tell us,” Garrett said. “Tell me, tell your position coach, tell the trainer, tell the strength coach … anybody. Just tell them, and we’ll help you. We have so many different resources that can help you. If we can’t directly help you, we’ll point you in the direction of somebody that can help you. Whatever it is, and literally I’ll get down on my hands and knees and beg you to do this, because it’s the most important thing there is.
“There’s no issue that you have in your life that we can’t somehow solve in some way and in some way make it better. I just say that from the bottom of my heart because you never know what guys are going through and you just want to let them know they have a place to turn. It’s a real tragedy there, so you just want to make sure you do everything you can to make sure something like that doesn’t happen here, and you want to make them really aware we have the resources to help.”
Garrett said Carr handled the situation as well as he could have.
“I know it affected him a great deal,” Garrett said. “He was close to him, and that was not an easy situation for anybody, certainly in Kansas City and anybody who has been associated with those guys.”
Garrett described the situation head coach Romeo Crennel must be going through “as difficult a thing as you could have happen.” Though members of the Chiefs and the Kansas City community will be affected most directly, Garrett said the NFL is a fraternity and the event also affects everyone around the league.
“What you want to do is take the football part out of it, put the human part in it, and make sure that everybody knows that we have resources to help them if they’re thinking about anything like that at all, we can help,” Garrett said.
Some would believe the manly, macho culture in the NFL could hinder players from finding help when they need it most, but Garrett doesn’t believe that to be the case.
“In these kinds of circumstances, absolutely not,” Garrett said, “and the other part you have to make clear to them is there’s no judgment involved. We’re not judging you. We’re helping you. We’re here to help. We’ve got a lot of resources to help you. We’ve got professional people who are experts in this area to help you. Everybody’s got my cell phone, they’ve got all their position coaches' numbers, just call us.”