Football players often take the field and say they’re “going to war.”
The Cowboys got a taste of what that actually means when they visited the Navy SEALs at their base in Coronado, Calif., before departing home Wednesday from San Diego.
While coach Jason Garrett said the work put into football is incomparable to the sacrifices made by the Navy SEALs, the Cowboys could still learn about discipline, preparation and the need for training.
“I’m very quick to point out for our football team that what they do is very different from what we do,” Garrett said. “They’re in life and death situations, we’re trying to win football games. But I’d be hard-pressed to think that we can’t learn something from them, about how they go about their job every day, how they build their teams and how they lead their teams, and the trust they have in each other.”
As Garrett put it, the Navy SEALs are “the best of the best,” and he wanted his team to get a glimpse at “the kind of warriors those guys are.”
“Your eyes are wide open,” running back DeMarco Murray said of the field trip. “I asked those guys a lot about mental toughness despite different types of distractions, how do they go through and differentiate between going home with their family and going to work. I learned so much stuff, it’s unbelievable. I have so much respect for those guys, and that was an opportunity that I’ll never be experience (again) in my life. … It’s something I’ll never forget.
The majority of the Naval Special Warfare training is conducted at the United States Phil Bucklew Naval Special Warfare Center, which is part of the base where the Cowboys visited in Coronado.
“It was a fantastic visit, Garrett said. “As impressed as I was going into it, I was more impressed coming out of it, getting a chance to get to know those guys a little bit more in what they do and what they believe in and how they go about really their everyday life, everyday existence to prepare themselves for the challenges that they have.”
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The Dallas Cowboys closed training camp Wednesday by traveling to a Navy SEAL’s base in Coronado, Calif.
It was the second time in the last two weeks that the Cowboys spent time with military personnel. A week after U.S. Army Gen. David Rodriguez spoke to the Cowboys about preparation and toughness, the group got a lesson about teamwork and sacrifice from the Navy’s special operations force.
Garrett said it was a good learning experience for the team and linebacker Sean Lee agreed. Lee said he believes the visit is something that will make the Cowboys a better team.
“It just puts things in perspective for you,” Lee said. “You think you’re mentally tough, you think you work hard, but those guys take everything to another level. You think you’re sacrificing. Well, they’re sacrificing their lives to protect this country.”