The Dallas Cowboys will have training camp in just one city this season. But that's mainly because of the lockout rather than a change in organizational philosophy following last season 6-10 season, which featured a 1-7 start.
Many tried to attribute the bad start to the team's busy preseason load, which included camping in San Antonio, Arlington and Oxnard Calif., as well as mixing in a trip to Canton, Ohio, for the Hall of Fame game.
“I liked the travel we had,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “I think it was good, and I think we will have that in the future.”
“Because we won three world championships traveling all over the world, so it works,” Jones said.
Asked what the problem was with the team's bad start last season if the travel and the multiple camps weren't to blame, Jones grew coy — ultimately intimating that coaching and preparation were the biggest problems.
“Without being specific I want to be real clear about something: Having training camp in different places is not a deterrent or not necessarily the solution to have a successful season,” Jones said. “My experience has been that it can be part of having a Super Bowl team. I read somewhere there is some thought in our mind of not having multiple training camps. That is not correct. It is just the opposite.”
For the record, the Cowboys won Super Bowls in 1992 and 1993 when they played preseason games in Tokyo and and London, respectively.
They went to Mexico City and Toronto for preseason games in 1994 and 1995, reaching the NFC title game one year and winning their third Super Bowl title the following year.
Still, neither of those teams had training camp practices in three cities. And, of course, all featured future Hall of Famers in Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith.
The same can't be said right now of the current bunch.
Clarence E. Hill