Jason Garrett proud to be part of players

IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys' season ended Sunday, and some players said their goodbyes Monday to never return to Valley Ranch again. But Jason Garrett let the team know he felt about them.

The Cowboys dealt with tragedy with the death of Jerry Brown and the arrest of Josh Brent for intoxication manslaughter in early December, and dealt with football-world issues with 13 players not finishing the season because of injury or otherwise.

“There’s been a tremendous investment, but that’s 31 other cities in the National Football League,” Garrett said. “There’s a tremendous commitment that players, coaches and staff make to an NFL season and we certainly made a tremendous investment, a tremendous commitment starting way back last spring in our offseason program and all the stuff that you go through, OTAs and minicamps and training camp and the four-game preseason schedule and the 16-game regular-season schedule, you put it out there," Garrett said.

"One of the things I’m most proud of, and really I say this a lot, and I say this to our team a lot, that I’m proud to be part of this team. It’s not a proud of, it’s proud to be a part of. I told them that again today, because of the commitment they’ve made. You talk a lot about mental toughness and often times mental toughness is the ability to battle through adversity. We’ve had a lot of different adversities this year. We’ve had injuries, we’ve lost close games, we’ve had tragedy, a tragedy unlike any I’ve ever been around in the National Football League and at every point our guys responded the right way and they became closer and they became stronger and they kept playing with that relentless spirit that we think is really, really important."

Garrett continued: "We think it’s Line 1 in football. We have to get Lines 2, 3 and 4 and the rest of them right, and we’ll keep working hard to do that, but there was a spirit. There was an undeniable will that our team played with and we’re all really proud to be a part of.”