IRVING, Texas – Monday was a bit quieter than it typically has been at Valley Ranch following Cowboys game days, as the club has implemented a new schedule for the 2014 season.
In the past, the first day of the week was a chance for players and coaches to digest film of the previous day's game before an off-day on Tuesday. This year, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett decided to rearrange the schedule, with Monday serving as a player off-day while coaches break down the 28-17 loss to San Francisco.
"We've already had our staff meeting on the game and talked about all of our personnel. So now what the coaches are doing is focusing on Tennessee and preparation for that," Garrett said. "Players will come in tomorrow, and if they haven't run or lifted, excuse me, if they haven't run by 12 noon tomorrow, they will be in a running group, and at 12:45 we'll have a team meeting and we'll discuss the game."
Garrett said he consulted with a lot of people, both on his staff and from around the league, and he determined that the old Monday schedule didn't give coaches the necessary time to process the film of the previous game.
"One of the things in talking to a number of different people about this schedule is oftentimes Monday is really fast for coaches and you're rushed," he said. "You're rushed out of the personnel meetings. You're getting ready for your team meeting. And sometimes you can't digest it quite as well as you'd like to."
The hope is that the new format will give the coaches a full day to watch the San Francisco game, and it will also give them a night to start their gameplan for the Titans. When the players show up Tuesday, they'll watch the tape of the 49ers before undergoing a short walkthrough with a focus on Tennessee. [embedded_ad]
"We'll make the corrections. We're going to watch the game and we'll go through it and part of the walkthrough might be reserved for an actual correction from the game," Garrett said. "So we'll go through a very similar process that we've gone through in the past."
Following a walkthrough Tuesday, the typical workload of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will be the same.
It raises an interesting question about the often-cited "24 hour rule." Win or lose, NFL coaches like for their teams to move on to the next opponent 24 hours after each game. With this new schedule, Cowboys players will still be reviewing the most recent game up to 48 hours after game day.
"Well, that was one of the other things that people said, you're more unemotional in your response to it, which is an important thing. What you want to do more than anything else when you evaluate a game is you want to teach off of the game tape," Garrett said. "There's no greater learning experience, as a player, than the game. You just remember things so vividly when they happen to you in a game. Hopefully you can embrace the learning opportunity, good or bad."
Garrett said the staff's longer window to break down the Week 1 loss should make the presentation to players more refined and make the Week 2 preparation more productive.