GRAPEVINE, Texas – Dallas Cowboys coaches and players took part Tuesday in their annual Sponsor Appreciation Golf Classic at the Cowboys Golf Club in Grapevine, Texas.
The event was unique this year in that it split up the OTA practices. Normally, those practices run for three straight days during the week. This year, the team practiced Monday, golfed Tuesday and will get back to practice Wednesday and Thursday.
“It’s interesting,” said head coach Jason Garrett. Typically we’ve done the OTAs three days in a row, but one of the things we talk to our team about a lot is that sometimes schedules can be unconventional in the NFL.
“You play Thursdays, you play Sunday nights, you kind of have some funny schedules you have to deal with during the season. So this doesn’t exactly seem like a normal OTA week for us…but, you know, you deal with it and you move on. This is a great event, something we always love to be a part of.”
Owner/general manager Jerry Jones, executive vice president Stephen Jones, coaches and players, including
Some were more experienced golfers than others, but Cowboys of all experience levels did their best to fight the inevitable frustrations of the sport and enjoy the event.
Claiborne was among the few who’d never golfed before. His only experience had been on a Nintendo Wii.
“This is my first time ever playing, ever being out here playing,” Claiborne said. “But so far I feel like I’ve done pretty good. The guys have been helping me out a lot. I’ve still got a lot of work to do.
“I wasn’t out here last year. Every offseason I’ve pretty much been going through surgeries, so I haven’t been having time to come out and play or to learn how to play. But it’s fun. I plan on learning and getting more into it.”
Others, like Murray, have a little more experience.
“Out of 30 balls, I’ll get a good 15 to 16 that are decent, a little bit over half, so we’ll see,” he said. “You can’t take it too serious. You’ve got to know your strengths and weaknesses, and I know golfing isn’t one of my strengths, so I just come out here and have fun with it.”
It didn’t take long for Cowboys players to realize their strengths in football can sometimes be weaknesses with a golf club.
“It’s a whole different sport,” Smith said. “You can’t be too powerful in this sport. I’m learning that the hard way. I’ve lost a good 10 balls already.”
That didn’t mean Smith took it too seriously. The left tackle, along with many of the other Cowboys, appreciated the little break between practices on the golf course.“I’m having a great time out here,” he said. “Weather’s nice, wind’s not blowing too hard…It’s good to get a little breather. It’s a good getaway.”