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August 25, 2011

Cowboys' training camp finally is over

The Cowboys weren't far from home, but nonetheless, they were happy to get back to their own homes Thursday. The team began training camp July 27 in San Antonio. After two weeks at the Alamodome, the Cowboys returned to Cowboys Stadium and have trained two weeks in Arlington, staying at the Sheraton.

On Thursday, after a 90-minute practice, the Cowboys broke camp.

Coach Jason Garrett said the Cowboys accomplished what they needed to in 23 practices, only one of which was at Valley Ranch.

"I think this has been a great facility for us to have the home part of our training camp practices, so to speak," Garrett said. "Obviously, the weather outside is difficult to practice on a daily basis and get exactly what you want out of it, so to have this facility has been outstanding. Our players have responded really well. We talked before that you get out of training camp right before that first preseason game but you have to keep a little bit of the training camp mentality and I think our guys have done that. I think it’s a tribute to the leaders on our team - we have eight, 10, 12 guys who are some of the best players at their position in the league and those guys have really taken a grip of the football team in terms of setting the pace of practice every day and keeping everybody kind of playing at an up-tempo pace. That’s a really important thing for a football team to have, for any organization to have, and the younger guys have followed that. We have a long way to go, you know that. Mistakes in all areas over and over and over again, but hopefully were minimizing those and still doing the big things the right way."

The Cowboys will practice at Valley Ranch on Monday and Tuesday before a walk-through Wednesday. They will be outdoors beginning at 9 a.m. to try to beat the 100-degree heat.

"I’ve been looking at the Weather Channel and charts of weather in Dallas for the last 50 years and typically it gets hotter and hotter as the day goes on," Garrett said."I found out that you don’t want to practice at 6 o’clock at night. One of the things that we have to do, though, is we have to get information to the players in the morning before practice, so even if we practice early, typically we'll meet prior to that practice; it might be a shorter meeting; it might be a full-scale meeting like we do in the regular season. We’re a morning practice team anyway, so hopefully that will help once we get into the regular season routine."

-- Charean Williams



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