When the Cowboys have team meals on the road, they tend to go all out.
Last year they had a gathering at the Tower of London when they played across the pond and this year they'll be dining at One World Observatory at the Freedom Tower in Manhattan when they visit the Giants. The team will arrive a day earlier than they usually do for Giants games -- Friday afternoon -- to make that reservation.
Jason Garrett came up with the idea this summer when he visited the area with his wife, he said on a conference call on Wednesday.
"I just thought it was fantastic for so many different reasons," the Cowboys coach said. "I was living up in New York at the time of 9/11, so it was a significant tragedy in our country's history, and I feel like they captured it so well, the tragedy of it, and also the response, the inspirational response that everyone in New York and the surrounding areas and throughout our country had to this tragedy. Being there this summer, I think you feel both of those things, you feel the tragedy, but you also feel the response and the resiliency of our country as manifested by that Freedom Tower. To me, I thought it was great when I was there. I wasn't there 10 minutes and I turned to my wife and said, 'Somehow, some way we have to bring our team here.' "
"I think it's life-changing in so many different ways," he added of the sacred location.
It took some planning. The Cowboys will leave Dallas on Friday and then go through their typical Saturday routine in New Jersey at their team hotel and a nearby high school. The Cowboys also are coming off a bye week, so they had a chance this week to cover most of their information for the game (as opposed to the Giants, who are cramming everything into a short week after a Monday night road game in Philadelphia).
"We had a dinner last year at the Tower of London when we played the game over there against Jacksonville and it was a really great evening for our team, unifying in so many different ways, and we feel like this can have the same kind of an impact," Garrett said.