IRVING, Texas – A few hours removed from his organization's first organized practice of 2013, an exuberant Jason Garrett met with the Dallas media to discuss the Cowboys' first day of rookie minicamp.
Here are some quick hits on the topics Garret touched during the press conference:
- Garrett was happy with what he saw Friday morning, but he added that the lack of veteran players made it difficult to determine much. "This was our first true football practice," he said. "There are a lot of guys who are important parts of this football team who weren't out there."
- One of the main topics Friday, between coaches and players, was the difference between evaluating during the draft and seeing a player in person. "We have a certain impression of them, based on the tape we've seen … and now we have chance to see them with a uniform on, up-close," he said.
- Garrett was impressed by first round pick Travis Frederick during the center's first practice. "He's a smart guy. He's certainly played a lot of football in his life. He's got a lot of command from the center position, but he's a long way off. He, like the rest of the rookies, has a lot to learn. But he's got command from the position. You like to see that from the center and from your quarterback. … Regardless of where they came from, those are the guys that set the tone on offense."
- Frederick has gotten a lot of notoriety for his tenacity in the trenches. Though Garrett said it's hard for the Wisconsin native to display that in non-padded practices. "He's certainly a physical player – kind of an old-time offensive lineman in a positive way," Garrett said.
- Garrett said he's interested to see Terrance Williams in the return game, but the rookies are limited by the high amount they have to learn in a short span of time. He said the younger players might not get a look "outside their position" until later in the summer, into training camp.
- Fifth-round draft pick Joseph Randle is severely limited by a thumb injury at present. But Garrett was happy with what the Oklahoma State running back was able to do in practice. "You want to maximize the opportunity that they have. We can't throw him the ball or hand him the ball, but we put him through some individual drills, and he was a part of meetings," Garrett said.
- Garrett said the Cowboys intend to carry four quarterbacks through the offseason. He liked keeping just two during the 2012 season, but the staff will re-evaluate that strategy heading into 2013.
- Garrett said second-year guard Ronald Leary "flashed a little bit at us this morning." Garrett said he played faster and with more command than a lot of the rookies, and the staff is looking forward to see him in full-team OTA's.
- A popular topic during Jason Garrett press conferences: the coach stressed his excitement at having an opportunity to watch his full defensive personnel work out – both new draftees and players returning from injury.