Caution: Boys At Work

DeMarcus Ware and the Cowboys arrived in Oxnard with cooler weather and ready to work.

not even a well-wisher could brighten his spirits. That's what month-old granddaughters are for.

You know what, good. He's setting the tone for these coming two weeks out here where this place might look like a vacation spot, but believe me, this won't be no vacation.

Not when you have a team coming off an 11-5 campaign, having finally won the franchise's first playoff game in 14 seasons that's returning 20 of 22 starters and seemingly everyone from Vegas to London is picking to win the NFC. Those guys, you got to ride. Hard.

Now Wade has this 17-9 ammunition to do just that when the Cowboys get back to work out here this weekend, with two practices on Saturday and two more on Sunday. Being on grass and in the temperate weather will be conducive to working long and hard.

Again. After all, this still is training camp, and the feeling is a reminder is but a day away.

There was Romo, though, sort of knocking down my refocusing theory, saying, "The defense played pretty good," making no excuses for the offensive performance.

Sure enough. The first-team defense picked up where it had left off on Sunday in the 16-7 victory over Cincinnati when it held the Bengals to just 22 yards in the two possessions played. This time, in the two full possessions on the field, the Cowboys first-team defense held the Raiders to seven yards.

Nevertheless, training camp indeed is not over. And while five preseason games might have caused some serious dread from the start, now it appears having three more to play - at San Diego and Houston, then back home vs. Miami - is a darn good thing if Thursday night is any indication.

There is work to do. A lot.

And salty veteran Keith Brooking certainly has not been fooled by the practice lull this past week, nor is he buying into this game giving the coaching staff the perfect fodder for cracking the whip out here on the West Coast the next two weeks. For as he said, "You're in for hell regardless of what the circumstances are.

"It's just training camp."

And now for sure, still.

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