Army general 'off the charts' in address to Cowboys

OXNARD, Calif. -- Jason Garrett stresses the themes of teamwork, preparation, adaptability, accountability, mental toughness and leadership on a daily basis with the Dallas Cowboys.

The head coach brought in reinforcements Wednesday morning, recruiting Gen. David Rodriguez to speak to the team.

“He was off the charts,” Garrett said.

Rodriguez, a 6-foot-5 former West Point defensive end, led U.S. forces in Afghanistan and oversees the 800,000 troops in the U.S. Army. He addressed the Cowboys for about 20 minutes before answering questions for another 25 minutes.

It was an emotional meeting for several of the players. The entire team gave Rodriguez a standing ovation, and Tony Romo and DeMarcus Ware presented him with an autographed helmet.

“All of the things that we talk about, they talk about,” said Garrett, who knows Rodriguez because the general is the brother-in-law of one of Garrett’s brothers-in-law. “Theirs are life and death situations, we’re trying to win football games, but there’s a lot of stuff that we can learn. ...

“It’s not about making a first down. It’s about, if we don’t do this, we’re going to lose some lives here. So the stakes are significantly higher, but they were such great learning opportunities for us.”