By: Steve Balestrieri
Dominique Easley was a star contributor at a football camp run by Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett last weekend. (USA TODAY Images)
The New England Patriots first round pick Dominique Easley was a star contributor at a football camp run by Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett last Saturday. Joining Easley were Cowboys players Dez Bryant, DeMarco Murray and Morris Claiborne acting as coaches a one-day event at Princeton which also happens to be Garrett’s alma mater.
If the fact that Easley worked as a coach at a Cowboys’ camp seems strange, think again. Easley is from Staten Island, New York, and attended Garrett’s camp five years ago as a young player.
And the fact that he attended the camp as a player was important in the message. Garrett used Easley as an example of what hard work can do for a young player’s future.
“The Easley story is a really good story,” Garrett told the Dallas Morning News’ Jon Machota. “He talked to the kids, and when he stands up there as the 29th pick of the first round and says, ‘I sat in that seat five years ago, so don’t tell me that you can’t do this.’”
The Cowboys and Garrett scouted Easley prior to the Draft this spring. The Cowboys met with Easley in Indianapolis, visited the ‘Boys for an official visit and was definitely on Dallas’ radar if he fell to the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
But Patriots head coach Bill Belichick had other plans and the Patriots selected Easley at the back end of the first round. Easley is still rehabbing from a second torn ACL injury but Belichick isn’t worried about his status.
“We’re confident that he’ll be able to return from the injury like almost everybody who’s had an ACL has, so I don’t think it’s the type of injury that isn’t pretty common in our league,” Belichick told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “He’s working hard to rehab, and hopefully he’ll be OK.
But for this day, Easley was not a player but a coach and like his experience of five years ago, his team won the competition. For Garrett, giving back even for the briefest of moments can make a big difference in a young person’s life.
“We got them for 10 hours, one day out of the year,” Garrett said. “I challenge the coaches, I say I believe we can make a difference in these kids’ lives. We’re going to show up here at eight o’clock, we’re going to send them on their way tonight at six o’clock, but we have this window to try to make a difference in these kids’ lives. We try to say the right things, do the right things and hopefully make some kind of impact.”
And Easley is living proof that it works…