Are the Cowboys leadership council members doing something together at Duke?

The Cowboys take the leadership thing very seriously under coach Garrett.

It’s the offseason which means a lot of non-football things are happening.

Sure, last week was the NFL Draft, but it was also time to get the brain off of pigskin for select members of the Dallas Cowboys as a group of them went on a nice little fishing trip together.

It’s great to see group camaraderie as, in theory, the closer a football team is the larger their odds for success. Lots of people on the fishing trip have been close (Dak and Zeke for example, or the offensive line) so it’s not exactly strange to see them vacationing together.

On Tuesday evidence of a different trip surfaced on social media. Just about every person from the fishing trip was present, with a few additions. At first glance it appeared sort of random but after further studying (and help from Twitter) the conclusion many started to come to was that this might be the Cowboys leadership council.

What’s the Cowboys leadership council?

It is what it sounds like. Obviously every team has captains that they vote on for every season, a manner in which the Cowboys have even tried before to add more than the NFL allows, but the leadership council includes that group plus other leaders on the team.

We got a great glimpse of this during Amazon’s All or Nothing that chronicled the 2017 season in Dallas. After that ended the group put together a collective letter when Jason Witten retired, thanking him for his contributions to the Cowboys. The council signed it and listed their names.

This brings us to the latest trip that the Cowboys took, all the way to Duke University.

What’s up with the Cowboys and Duke?

Duke trips are not out of the norm for the Dallas Cowboys, especially for returnee Jason Witten. You’ll remember that he, Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray, and Jason Garrett frequently made the trip to Durham, NC for the same sort of thing. Among the objectives for the trip, besides college basketball lore, typically included a level of leadership training with one of the greatest coaches of all time in any sport – Mike Krzyzewski.

It cannot be stated enough how big of a fan Jason Garrett is of Coach K. The evidence lies in the many experiences that have been shared from the two organizations, think long and hard about how Garrett spoke of him after a 2011 visit.

“We literally could talk about this for five days I learned so much,” Garrett said. “He has an amazing way of creating an environment that is so organized, so systematic, so seamless, the execution and everything they do is off the charts. He also has this amazing personal touch with everyone involved in the organization. He has a personal relationship with everybody. He cares deeply about everybody. They care about each other.”

We know that Jason Garrett is a fan of the Blue Devils, and just last week we saw Dak Prescott get one of his first tastes in meeting them. If the point truly is to learn about leadership why not send your quarterback and de facto team leader plus all of your other leaders straight to the well you value so much?

It looks like the council members (plus a few more) are back where Dallas likes to learn about leadership

On Tuesday afternoon Tavon Austin started posting a few videos and photos to his Instagram story. It was obvious that he and some of his teammates were taking a trip, there were floor mats with the Cowboys logo and some Tony Romo artwork on the private plane they were flying in.

There are a lot of posts from Austin, you can view the whole thread of them right here, but after posting the process of traveling he (and other Cowboys) started posting tons of footage of them shooting hoops at Duke’s Cameron Indoor.

It’s a bit hard to discern exactly who’s there and unfortunately nobody was kind enough to post a group photo or list out the attendees. Looking at it though you can clearly see these names:

10 of these names were listed on the council in the Jason Witten letter, and obviously Witten is a leader when on the team and he’s back. Cole Beasley and Dan Bailey are gone, but Amari Cooper is a huge part of the team and we’ve talked before here at BTB about how much of a leader Austin is in his own right.

All of the clues here seem to point to the fact that the group of Cowboys leaders (old and new) have returned to their leadership stomping grounds (Duke) to do whatever it is that leaders do. Either that or they want to poke Zion Williamson’s brain to find out what he thinks life in the NBA will be like.

Which do you think it is?

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