Day 1: Saturday, July 30, 2005
The grass was green – the sky was blue – the weather was perfect and the day was finally here! The start of Dallas Cowboys Training Camp in Oxnard, CA.
We arrived in Oxnard around 7:45am and quickly parked and walked to the facilities. After a quick walk under the giant blue star, you come upon a stage where Rowdy, one of the Cowboys Mascots is tossing out footballs with the Cowboys logo on them. My nephew, Jordan, was lucky enough to snag one of these. And afterwards, we made our way down to the field around 8:00am, where Jerry Jones, escorted by two pretty Cowboys Cheerleaders meet in the middle of the field with the City of Oxnard Officials for what was a poorly planned, “Thank you for being here!”, “Well thank you for having us here!”
And after a nice rendition of the National Anthem by the quartet In Spirit, there they were. Running out onto the field, 86 players all ready to sweat it out to try and make the 53-man roster of the one and only – Dallas Cowboys. Much to my dissappointment, the two highly touted rookies, 1st round picks Marcus Spears and Demarcus Ware were absent from the days practice, still not having signed contracts. But what I did see brought joy to my heart.
Drew Bledsoe, the recently acquired quarterback from the Buffalo Bills. He looked sharp. Bledsoe to Keyshawn. Bledsoe to Terry Glenn. Bledsoe to Quincy Morgan. Slants. Curls. Posts and the beautiful deep fly patterns. Finally, the Cowboys have in their training camp a QB that can throw the rock. Nothing against Quincy Carter or Vinny Testaverde, but after seeing both of them last year – they do not even come close to the velocity and accuracy of Drew Bledsoe.
Then there are the running backs. Julius Jones proved late last year just how good he is, but behind him you have rookie Marion Barber, The A-Train, Anthony Thomas and then rookie Tyson Thompson. Coach Bill Parcells has said he has not seen such a great group of running backs in a while. They ran hard and ran fast and the depth will be something the Cowboys will use to their advantage.
Things are looking good at Cowboys camp, and it is especially good when you are sitting next to a Redskins fan and she says, “Man your running backs look good this year. We are in trouble.” That’s right Skins and Skins fans – the Cowboys 15-1 record over the Skins is going to become 17-1 after seasons end.