ARLINGTON, Texas – Jason Garrett referred to it as the "Cowboy Way" during the January press conference announcing him as head coach -- the standard he and his teammates set for themselves during the Cowboys' 1990s heyday.
More than a decade later, Garrett wants his team to play by the same model. Embracing the franchise's tradition, he has invited former Cowboys to Friday's situational scrimmage with the San Diego Chargers at Cowboys Stadium.
"We also want our players to be around them and understand what the standard of excellence is," Garrett said.
"We have absolutely no interest in living in the past. We want to live in today and going forward. But when you're part of the Dallas Cowboys right now and you look back at what this franchise has done in the past, there's a great standard that exists. We're fortunate to have that standard, to see it being done at the highest level possible and understand what that is and strive every day to maintain that standard."
Already in training camp, rookies have worn helmets without the signature star logo. Garrett wants them to earn it first.
Garrett and new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan also gave a nod to Cowboys lore by lining up in Tom Landry's "flex defense" on the first play of the preseason opener against Denver.
No Hazing Training camp is technically over, and the rookie offensive linemen still have their normal hairstyles. No hideous (and hilarious) trimming by the veterans.
Garrett said the team won't engage in any "demeaning" rookie traditions, often referred to as hazing.
"There's some things we won't do," Garrett said. "There's some other things that will probably still be in place. The more harmless things will still be in place."
The subject made national news last year when first-round pick Dez Bryant refused to carry Roy Williams' shoulder pads after practice.
One (presumably harmless) team tradition has been rookies singing their college fight songs in front of the team.
Cautious With Jenkins As Terence Newman recovers from a groin injury, fellow starting cornerback Mike Jenkins continues to be held out of contact drills with a stinger suffered in San Antonio.
Garrett hasn't ruled out Jenkins for Sunday's game against the Chargers, and the team is hopeful he can return to full participation in the next few days.
"The thing you don't want to do when you have that is come back too early and re-aggravate it," Garrett said.
Others who continue to miss practice: running backs Tashard Choice (calf) and DeMarco Murray (hamstring), linebackers Keith Brooking (hamstring) and Bruce Carter (knee), guard Montrae Holland (back) and wide receiver Teddy Williams (hamstring). Cornerback Ross Weaver wore a walking boot after injuring his foot in Saturday's practice.