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How Jason Garrett's Knowledge of the Cowboys Can Help the Defensive Game Planning Process

Here's why offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, a long-time coach of the Cowboys before being hired by the Giants, can be the team's secret weapon this week.

Not a week has gone by when Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett hasn’t reiterated his commitment to helping the Giants win games.

This week, in addition to developing a game-winning plan on offense, Garrett has been serving as an added resource for colleague Patrick Graham and his staff and the players who are looking for any last bit of intel Garrett can provide of the Cowboys offensive personnel.  

"I’ll be talking to Jason a little bit more," said defensive back Logan Ryan Wednesday. "Any hint and tip I can get, I’m one known to take it and see if it applies. I definitely will be asking him, buying him some lunch this week. Maybe dinner. We’ll be staying late."

Giants head coach Joe Judge, who believes in consulting every possible resource for information, noted that while there are some similarities from the past, the Cowboys “are not the same team they were last year.”  

But Graham thinks there’s a little more to be had in terms of information that he can use in fine-tuning his game plan.

 “It’s a people game. The X’s and O’s—everybody has that. Everybody can look at the tape,” Graham said. “It’s about the people—what affects this receiver? You have some insight there, and that’s what I’m more interested in. 

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“What affects this receiver, what affects this offensive lineman? What are his weaknesses? Mentally, what’s his makeup? Can he handle if we blah, blah, blah put three guys over top of him and spin them out of there or something like that? If we press right here, is that going to affect him? 

“Those are the questions I want to get answers to. They have the insight, it’s a people game. They know the people intimately, so we’re able to get some information right there.” 

Garrett, who can also use his memory bank in scheming against the Cowboys players returning on defense, said it’s all part of a day’s work.

“You’re always trying to understand who you’re playing against,” he said. “So much of that comes from your film study and watching your guys play on tape, but a lot of it comes from your memory of a player coming out in the draft and how you got to know him, or maybe you were around that player or somebody else from the staff or the team was. 

“I don’t think you want to get overly focused on those things, but if there’s a resource in the building, then you certainly want to take advantage of it,” Garrett added. 

“I think my experience has been most players and coaches through the years have been generous with that knowledge, but I don’t think it should be overused. I think the process we go through each week in trying to understand who the opponent is and what we want to do is the best process. But any time you have a resource that you can use in the building, I think it would be helpful for everybody.