IRVING, Texas – Thursday marked the fifth-annual Dallas Cowboys U high school football camp, held on the practice fields at Valley Ranch.
This year's camp, which is presented by the Texas Lottery, marked a departure from the norm, however, as two champions were eventually crowned. Barry Church's Team Church shared top honors with Team Smith, captained by Tyron Smith, as both team's finished 3-1 after a full morning of competitive flag football games.
"I told our players earlier today, before we started, that we have a great opportunity to be the right examples and the right role models for these kids for about five hours, and we can impact their lives," said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. "But one of the things that's happened every year we've done this – I think our players and our football team has been equally positively impacted by this whole experience."
The kids in question are underserved student-athletes from 26 different schools around the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Eight Cowboys veterans – Church, Smith, Brandon Carr, Sean Lee, Tony Romo, Jason Witten, Doug Free and Orlando Scandrick – were selected to coach, while the rest of the roster was on hand to coach and communicate with the players.
In addition to the flag football tournament, the schedule also included talks from Cowboys players and coaches about off-the-field and life skills topics.
"Football has been so great to all of us – it's such a great game," Garrett said. "For us to be able to use the game as a medium to reach out to kids in our community and hopefully make a difference in their lives – I think it's a great responsibility, it's a great opportunity that we all have."
A full photo gallery from Thursday's activities is embedded below.
The Dallas Cowboys hosted the fifth annual Dallas Cowboys U high school football camp for underserved student-athletes at Valley Ranch on Thursday, June 9. Presented by Texas Lottery.