IRVING, Texas – Somehow, the advice that Jason Garrett gave Joseph Randle came across crystal clear – and at the same time slightly muddled.
On Wednesday morning, Garrett was quickly asked about his young running back's comments from last week – that DeMarco Murray had "left some meat on the bone" last year en route to 1,845 yards. Just as quickly, Garrett made it known where Randle's priorities need to be.
"I think Joe has great respect for DeMarco, as we all do," Garrett said. "Joe did a good job with his opportunities, but Joe and everybody else on our football team, we have to focus on what we do and not on what we say. I think he understands that."
Garrett said he addressed the issue with Randle "immediately," which is where the story becomes slightly confusing. Randle spoke to reporters after Wednesday's OTA session at Valley Ranch, and he wasn't quite as clear when asked if Garrett had spoken to him.
"Not at all," he said.
But even if Randle didn't want to talk about it, Garrett's advice seemed to ring true in his answers. The third-year running back spoke with the media for roughly five minutes, and he only said about 125 words.
Randle's longest response of the afternoon should be music to Garrett's ears:
"I'm just going out there and trying to grind every day so I can earn some more playing time," he said.
This all arose last week, when Randle said he'd had a chance to watch Murray from the sidelines and said he thought the starter had left some opportunities on the field. By not signing or drafting a running back this spring, the Cowboys appear content to let Randle, Darren McFadden, Lance Dunbar and Ryan Williams carry the load.
"We've got a good group. We're all working hard trying to be the best we can be each day," Randle said.
He might not have been eager to rehash his comments about Murray, but Randle doesn't appear inclined to let the issue affect his confidence. At the tail end of the interview, he was asked if he expected to win the Cowboys' starting job.
"Until I hear otherwise, yeah," he said.