Jason Garrett a fan of Cowboys' intangibles

Jason Garrett was the epitome of an overachiever, a dude with marginal talent who played 12 seasons in the NFL.

It's amazing, really, considering he threw just 294 passes in his career.

But Garrett lasted so long because he studied like a starter, which meant he made few mistakes in practice. And he could help on Sundays because he knew the game plan as well as the starter.

He worked hard in the weight room, never complained about his role and took advantage of the limited opportunities he had to play, which is why he had 11 career touchdowns and only five interceptions.

Garrett was the right kind of guy, a player with a high motor who maximized his potential, which is all you can ever ask a player to do. His love for the game showed in his passion to prepare, even though he rarely played.

He was the kind of guy coaches and teammates always view as an asset. Why do you think former teammates such as Michael Irvin, Troy Aikman and Daryl Johnston have such positive things to say about a player who spent most of his career wearing a cap and carrying a clipboard?

Now, Garrett is building a team in his own image.

Who's surprised? Not me.

Normally, we surround ourselves with like-minded people. It should surprise no one that Garrett wants a team of players -- the right kind of guys -- who share his approach to the game.

"Our experience," he said recently, "has been that when you have a lot of these kinds of guys on your team, you practice better and you play better. It's infectious."

Talent isn't enough to thrive in the NFL.

Everyone on an NFL roster -- even the worst player -- is supremely talented. It's intangibles, most of the time, that make the difference.

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