Cowboys drawing inspiration from Attorney General Loretta Lynch

OXNARD, Calif. – Football coaches across the country come up with different ways to motivate players. The messages are always the same: teamwork, working hard, doing extra, sacrificing.

Jason Garrett likes to say coaches are a little like preachers; they have to come up with the same sermon 52 different ways.

It’s doubtful, however, that very many – if any – NFL coaches showed their teams a clip of an interview done by Attorney General Loretta Lynch at the start of training camp. It came from a May interview with CBS and when Garrett watched, it struck a note with him.

“It really was about as eloquent an 18 seconds as I’ve ever heard,” Garrett said. “And she talked about her upbringing in North Carolina and her grandparents being sharecroppers and her dad being a minister and her mom being a librarian and being instilled at a young age the importance of not allowing other people to define you, but you define yourself.

“She ended up being the valedictorian of her high school class. She went to Harvard undergrad. She went to Harvard Law School, was a district attorney and eventually the Attorney General of the United States. It’s a great arc. And for her to share that idea that we’re not going to let other people outside us define us, we’re going to define ourselves by what we do and what we say and don’t say and how we present ourselves each and every day, that’s a message that we’ve shared with our team and it’s something I think is really important in life for individual people and certainly good for football players, coaches and a football team.”

Last year, Garrett’s message to his team was to "fight." He put them on T-shirts as a sign that the players would fight through adversity, fight to work hard and fight together.

This year Garrett has a shirt with the words, “We Do,” on the front.

Like fight, it can take on different meanings, but most importantly it revolves around the answer he heard from Lynch and not letting others define expectations.

“She’s really pretty inspirational,” Garrett said. “She’s something else. We’re all pulling for her.”