Dallas Cowboys Training Camp, July 21-27. 5 Quick Observations.
The City of Oxnard Playing Fields, in Oxnard, California is playing host to the Dallas Cowboys Training Camp 2013. It seemed the whole of the NFL media wagon had assembled once again to see if there would be any early signs that this would be the year that the Cowboys finally delivered. Under the ever watchful eye of both coach Jason Garrett and owner/GM Jerry Jones, the 'Boys had some early drama to contend with but are starting to see some promise from their stars.
- Stright out of the blocks and not even an official day of practice saw a casualty. Jay Ratliff went down during Saturday evenings conditioning tests with a hamstring strain. This was a setback for Ratliff who missed ten games in 2012 due to several nagging injuries. An MRI was scheduled for the Sunday, the teams first day of camp and fortuantely came back showing just a minor strain and will be day-to-day.
- Injuries are part of the game, they are particularly brutal when they happen in preseason, and even more so when its a cornerstone of your team building. On the teams first day of camp defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford went down and out for the season with a torn achilles tendon on his left foot.This is a huge blow for the team as they were hoping that Crawford would build upon his solid rookie year.
- Add tight end John Hanna to the list of walking ounded. He went down with a bad hamstring during Sundays practice. Ever get the feeling of deja-vu? The Cowboys were haunted by injuries to key personnel during last year. Surely lightning wont strike twice? Hanna has been listed as day-to-day but has said that he doesn't expect to be sidelined very long.
- By the third day of camp the wounded were being patched up and healing well (Crawford being the exception), Dez Bryant was showing the skill set that has those in the Cowboys camp drooling and those that will be defending him quaking in fear. He was catching nearly everything thrown his way and fighting off the hot attention of, in particular Morris Claiborne. Bryant even went as far to thank the Dallas cornerbacks for making him the receiver he is today, “Those are two great corners. I’m lucky to go against two guys like that, because they’re great, especially Mo. He’s going to mess around and be one of the best corners in this league.”
- As the week drew a close there was talk, inevitably, of Tont Romo's status. The quarterback was coming into camop after having minor surgery to remove a cyst in his back. He has howver looked very sharp, and mobile. Having an extra preseason game to play this year (the Cowboys play Miami in Canton next Sunday in the annual Hall of Fame game), the decision has been made to rest Romo for that particular match. "We obviously want to see all these guys at the quarterback spot. But I didn’t know there is (anything) about it. Is there? Here he is, he’s coming back, working himself into shape, I think really what Jason meant was with all these guys with a fifth game, we’ll use our head and be sensible about it." said Jerry Jones.
Away from the field it was announced that the Dallas Cowboys had agreed a deal with communications experts AT&T. Formerly Cowboys Stadium, the house that Jeery built will now officially be named AT&T Stadium. The deal made public on Thursday is worth a repoerted $17-$19 million per year over an undefined period. Won't take long then to pay off Romo;s signing bonus.
Report back here next week, and see how the Cowboys saddle up for the presesaon curtain raiser against the Dolphins in Canton, Ohio.