Rick Carlisle visits Cowboys' camp

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rick Carlisle and Jason Garrett had never met before Thursday morning, but Garrett has admired the Mavericks coach from afar for a long time.

They got to know each other a little Thursday, as the Cowboys welcomed Carlisle to spend the day with them at training camp.

Like most folks in the Metroplex, Garrett enjoyed watching the Mavs’ run to the NBA championship last season. He hopes the Cowboys can exhibit some of the Mavericks’ key characteristics, especially the unselfish attitude and clutch ability that defined their title run.

“It’s hard to watch the Mavericks and not love the team,” Garrett said. “You think about the marquee guys, but then you think about the other guys who have a role. I thought they always played great at the critical moments. I always had a tremendous amount of confidence as a fan that they were always going to do the right thing – they were going to make the right pass, they were going to defend, they were going to make the shot.

“I think when you do that, you have a chance to win championships. That’s hard to do. It’s hard to be the best team in your league for a year. It’s really, really hard to do in any sport. They certainly did that and clearly he’s the engine behind the whole thing. It just seemed like to me that he made genius coaching decisions at every turn.”

Carlisle, who contacted the Cowboys to ask if he could visit, talked with several coaches after practice. He also chatted with fellow Virginia alums John Phillips and Kevin Ogletree and might have done some scouting for the Mavericks.

“There’d be some guys that could set some good screens and go up and get the ball out of the air,” Carlisle joked.