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Garrett insisted it is way too early to be paying attention to the standings, that the only thing players should focus on is getting ready for the next practice and for the Patriots. His smile showed otherwise.

“We have many challenges ahead,” he said. “We have 12 more football games to play. That’s a lifetime. We’re going to focus on being as good as we can be each day and hopefully get ourselves ready to play the Patriots.”

Notes: The Cowboys were so banged up two weeks ago that they skipped wearing pads on Wednesday. They didn’t do so last week either, of course, because of the bye. Garrett said players will be suited up this Wednesday, and the next several. “We’d like to get back into the rhythm of practicing in full pads on Wednesdays,” he said. … Another practice change: A scoreboard. It was installed during by the week to help make situational work more realistic. They had a scoreboard during training camp at the Alamodome and Cowboys Stadium. “We’ve been doing it with (equipment manager) Bucky Buchanan using a stopwatch,” Garrett said. “We think it’s valuable in recreating and simulating the game when you have that scoreboard, and you have the time that everybody can see and you understand what the situation is as concretely as possible.”