IRVING, Texas – The 30 acres that comprise the Valley Ranch complex have been the Cowboys' home for the last 31 seasons. For 16 seasons, The Ranch has been Jason Garrett's professional home as a coach and a player.
The Cowboys' upcoming three-day minicamp this week will complete their offseason program, and thus, the team's final offseason work at Valley Ranch as the organization continues preparations to move to its new world headquarters, The Star in Frisco, for the 2016 season. The Cowboys' next on-field activities will take place in Oxnard, Calif., at training camp this summer.
Valley Ranch memories abound for Garrett, first as a backup quarterback from 1993-99, and now as head coach for the last six years.
"One of the things that I tell our team all that time is that since 1960, the Dallas Cowboys organization has had some of the best teams, the best coaches and the best players who have ever played in the National Football League. And I feel the same way about Valley Ranch," he said. "This place was built in the late '80s and you think about all the great coaches, all the great players and all the great teams who have worked here on a daily basis. There's such a standard that's been set here. It's a place that I've felt a great privilege to be a part of. I've worked here a lot as a player, I've worked a lot here as a coach and I recognize that standard and I think our team recognizes that standard.
"It's really a special place. Lot of fond memories of this place. Lot of great relationships built here. We're certainly excited about going to our new facility in Frisco. There's a lot of anticipation for that. But at the same time we want to maximize our last week here."
For Garrett, one specific memory doesn't necessarily stand out most. He'll never forget the daily intense competition at The Ranch between the offense and defense on those great '90s teams.
"It was just off the charts. It was the highest level," Garrett said. That's what we try to instill in our team.
"This is a place that we embraced. This is where the work gets done as the foundation of everything."