Garrett says hazing part of NFL culture

Posted Monday, Nov. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett declined to comment on the bullying situation going on with the Miami Dolphins that has guard Richie Incognito suspended and tackle Jonathan Martin away from the team.

But Garrett said hazing has been part of the culture of the NFL for years and that coaches have to keep an eye out for it so it doesn’t go too far.

“Absolutely. There’s some things that have happened in football for a long, long time. Rookies singing at dinner, rookies carrying shoulder pads, rookies buying fried chicken as you go to the airplane, all that stuff,” Garrett said. “That’s been around forever and that’s part of the process and part of what this league has been about for a long, long time.

“Hopefully it’s always done in a way where it’s developing team camaraderie and team chemistry and it’s good for your team. If it comes close to crossing the line, it certainly has to be addressed. I haven’t seen it like that in my career as a player, as a coach. You try to keep your eye on any of those kind of things but I haven’t really seen it being an issue in the past.”

Garrett believes he has the right kind of guys on the Cowboys and they have a good locker room work environment.

“We always hope the lines of communication are open. We have a lot of resources in this building. Coaches, player development people, a lot of different resources players can go to hopefully to help them with any situation that comes up — on the field, off the field, in this building or outside of it,” Garrett said. “We want to make sure they always understand that and we’re here to help them.”

Well wishes

Garrett offered get-well wishes for Denver Broncos coach John Fox and Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak as they recover from their respective health issues.

Fox underwent heart surgery Monday and will be sidelined indefinitely. Kubiak collapsed at halftime of his game Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts and was treated for stroke-like symptoms.

“I know both those guys, and they’re great people. They’re great coaches and they’re people who represent themselves, their families and the NFL really, really well. So we wish Fox and Gary nothing but the best in getting back from these health situations they’re involved in,” Garrett said.

Briefly

• Garrett said receiver Miles Austin (hamstring) and defensive end DeMarcus Ware (quad) improved over the weekend but they remain day-to-day and no decision has been made on whether they will play against the Saints. With the bye coming up the following weekend, Garrett acknowledged that some consideration will be given to resting them another week. Ware has missed three games. Austin has missed the past two.

• Garrett had little say regarding former defensive tackle Jay Ratliff signing a one-year deal with the Bears after the Cowboys cut him two weeks ago because he was too injured to play this year, ending a contentious relationship. There have been reports that Ratliff signed with the Bears partly because he will get a chance to face the Cowboys on Dec. 9.

•  Defensive tackle Marvin Austin hurt his back in practice on Friday. Jason Garrett said the Cowboys held out hope he would play Sunday but he didn’t look good in pregame warm ups so he was made inactive.

Clarence E. Hill Jr., 817-390-7760 Twitter: @clarencehilljr

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